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Microformats Hit Mainstream!

Microformats Logo [1]Over on SEMClubhouse I’ve written up a post on “Why Use Microformats? [2]” which is a mild criticism of Michael Gray’s recent post on “HCards, Microformats and Address Data does it Matter for SEO [3]“. Essentially, Michael suggests people should prioritize implementation of hCard into local info webpages as a lower-priority, back-burner project. I not only believe that Yahoo’s SearchMonkey [4] developer platform and Google’s new Rich Snippets [5] display are proving that the search engines consider the Microformats protocol to be important, but anything presented as a back-burner or rainy-day project for many major corporations pretty much relegates that work to never be done at all.

With the advent of Rich Snippets in SERPs, I think I can safely declare that Microformats have now hit mainstream! Google is now presenting listings of pages with hReview microformat with slightly more attention-getting “bling”:

Google SERP listing for Yelp with Rich Snippets [6]

This will undoubtedly result in slightly higher clickthrough rates for those listings.

Any day, Google could add in special display treatments for pages that sport hCard [7] or hCalendar [8] microformatting, so companies that haven’t implemented these simple, semantic mark-up protocols will have missed the bus!

Be sure to check out Alan Rimm-Kaufman’s blog post on how Google Rich Snippets may soon give advantage to pages coded with hProduct microformat [9] — internet retailers should pay attention. (As a side note, I previously helped some lucky internet retailer 500 sites optimize their store locators by adding hCard Microformats [10] through GravityStream, back when I still worked for Netconcepts — so, at least a few IR 500 sites have enjoyed Microformatting before!)

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