Schema.org was introduced about three years ago as the preferred markup for websites trying to communicate to search engines like Bing and Google what their pages were about.
Less than 1 percent of websites have implemented Schema.org markup, according to recent findings by Searchmetrics. However, pages with Schema.org integration rank better by an average of four positions compared to pages without Schema.org markup, a study by Searchmetrics revealed.
"It must be noted that this is not necessarily a causal relationship," Searchmetrics said in its report. "It may not be the case that pages are actually preferred by Google just because they provide schema integrations, and maybe the higher rankings can be explained by the fact that webmasters who use Schema.org integrations are one step ahead of the competition due to other factors that affect their rankings in a positive way."
According to the data, Google shows results with Schema markup aka "rich snippets" for more than 36 percent of keyword queries examined. "In contrast, the proportion of keywords for which no markups appear in snippets has declined, and is currently at about 34 percent," Searchmetrics said in its report.
The most popular categories containing Schema markup in the search results were movies (27 percent), offers (21 percent), TV series (11 percent) and reviews (11 percent), to name a few.
The research also revealed Google's propensity to show more than one type of markup in the search results, with about 65 percent of results showing two or more types of markup:
When it came to review markup, the majority (about 64 percent) displayed four to five stars. "It's clear to see that providing the ability to rate content is rewarded positively. Only 6 percent of the reviews were bad," Searchmetrics stated in its report.
Regardless of whether or not there is a causation of better rankings with Schema markup, it's still a best practice to include it to better communicate with the search engines.
Said Searchmetrics, "It can be said that the inclusion of HTML tags from Schema.org to clearly flag up the content of a page will greatly help search engines better understand the Web's content – and that is an essential consideration for a good ranking."