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Google Now Supports Schema.org Markup For Phone Numbers, And Gives Recommendations For Googlebot Crawling and Indexing of The Data
engine




msg:4661401
 1:39 pm on Apr 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

Today, we are launching support for schema.org markup to help you specify your preferred phone numbers using structured data markup embedded on your website. Four types of phone numbers are currently supported:
  • Customer service
  • Technical support
  • Billing support
  • Bill payment

    For each phone number, you can also indicate if it is toll-free, suitable for the hearing-impaired, and whether the number is global or serves specific countries.Google Now Supports Schema.org Markup For Phone Numbers, And Recommendations For Googlebot Crawling and Indexing of The Data [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]
  • Today we're also introducing recommendations about the best way to build these location pages to make them easily accessible and understandable to Googlebot, and more importantly, Google's users.

     

    phranque




    msg:4661712
     3:20 am on Apr 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

    the best way to build these location pages to make them easily accessible and understandable to Googlebot
    so that we can scrape them and take down the next local directory/review site below our adwords
    EditorialGuy




    msg:4661854
     5:32 pm on Apr 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

    so that we can scrape them and take down the next local directory/review site below our adwords


    Any "scraping" is being invited by the business that uses schema markup for its contact information. The business doesn't care about your local directory; the business cares about making it easy for its customers to reach the right phone number.

    This is a win for the business and its customers.

    phranque




    msg:4661872
     6:41 pm on Apr 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

    i don't have a local directory.

    Ralph_Slate




    msg:4661885
     7:15 pm on Apr 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

    I think what phranque is referring to is that Google is pushing sites into a lose-lose situation.

    You can refuse to use the Schema.org markup, and Google will then put other sites ahead of you in the SERPS.

    Alternately, you can include the Schema.org markup and Google will scrape and publish the information you gather on their site.

    EditorialGuy




    msg:4661887
     7:20 pm on Apr 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

    OK, then, your Uncle Buck or the guy down the street. my point is that search evolves, and user expectations evolve. Anyone whose business model depends on being the exclusive local source of phone numbers should have seen the handwriting on the wall years ago.

    physics




    msg:4661905
     8:51 pm on Apr 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

    ... Unless that person is named Larry Page or Sergei Brin :)

    RedBar




    msg:4661951
     11:52 pm on Apr 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

    What exactly am I missing here?

    Surely ANY company that wants this information to be known to its customers already has this information on their website?

    Is this an American thing?

    To me it is totally bizarre some of the things Google are doing yet fanpeople seem to feel it's incredible...I just do not get it.

    I'm not referring to here as fanpeople, it's the blogspot comments!?!?!

    johnhh




    msg:4661954
     12:39 am on Apr 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

    @Redbar

    I don't get it either.. the only reason I can think of is if Google grabs the telephone numbers and shows them for a specific search ( maybe under Knowledge Graph or similar ) there is no need for the user to visit the website of the company which is good for Google but maybe bad for the company - especially if they have an ecommerce site. Based on it's more expensive to handle calls than to take orders via a website.

    EditorialGuy




    msg:4661960
     3:33 am on Apr 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

    Johnhh: A lot of businesses want contact information or other data in search results from Google, Bing, and other search engines. That's why they use schema markup.

    A good example would be a local shoe store in Widgetville. The store may have a Web site, but what it really wants is to have people visit the store and try on shoes. By using schema markup for its address, phone number, and business hours, the store enables Google, Bing, and other search engines to publish something like:

    Sam's Shoe Store
    1000 Walnut Street
    Widgetville, NY 10500
    Telephone 000-000-0000
    Open 9-9 Mon-Fri, 9-5 Sat-Sun

    For the store, it's ideal to have that information displayed on the SERPs. It's like having a free ad. And it's something the business initiates by using schema markup. (It isn't the result of unsolicited "scraping" by the search engines.)

    Awarn




    msg:4662066
     12:59 pm on Apr 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

    Well if you look at this you can see flaws. They want you to publish the contact information and the hours you are open. Now look at that, 9-9... what time zone? Im in EST but if the person that reads the site they might be in California so the hours don't agree. Yet I saw nothing of a schema tag to set the time zone. So is this all geared toward localized results or is this a flaw? Personally I have well over 10K products with appropriate schema. The effect? Not much.

    EditorialGuy




    msg:4662073
     1:26 pm on Apr 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

    Awarn: Operating hours are obviously most useful for local results, but don't forget that many businesses (and other organizations, for that matter) are local. Another great example would be the local gas company. Where I live, the gas company has a dedicated 24-hour phone number for reporting gas leaks. (Preventing explosions and fires is always a good thing.) The gas company would obviously prefer that people be able to find that emergency number as quickly as possible if they smell gas, so it makes sense for the company to help the search engines display that number on their SERPs.

    And again, the business or organization gets to decide whether to use schema markup. If it's a global organization or an e-commerce site, maybe it won't want to have operating hours or 9-to-5 phone numbers in the SERPs. But that's something the business or organization gets to decide. Google, Bing, etc. aren't forcing it to use schema markup.

    physics




    msg:4662369
     5:34 pm on Apr 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

    johnhh - exactly.

    EditorialGuy




    msg:4662384
     7:33 pm on Apr 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

    Johnhh and physics:

    If you have an e-commerce site and the contact-info markup isn't useful for you, don't use it. But don't assume that, just because you don't find it useful, other businesses and their customers won't.

    (As a user, I find such information very useful when I want to know a local store's business hours or when I want to call a cab. Sometimes commercial search isn't about finding e-commerce sites; it's about finding out how to call an office or learning when the local veterinary clinic is open.)

    aristotle




    msg:4662412
     9:00 pm on Apr 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

    Ralph_Slate wrote
    think what phranque is referring to is that Google is pushing sites into a lose-lose situation.

    You can refuse to use the Schema.org markup, and Google will then put other sites ahead of you in the SERPS.

    Alternately, you can include the Schema.org markup and Google will scrape and publish the information you gather on their site.

    I agree completely. That's the real explanation for what Google is trying to do here.

    EditorialGuy




    msg:4662622
     8:11 pm on Apr 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

    You can refuse to use the Schema.org markup, and Google will then put other sites ahead of you in the SERPS.


    Maybe, and maybe not. It's likely to depend on the context of the search.

    If a dog or cat owner searches for "yokelville veterinary clinic" and there are five vet clinics in yokelville, then why shouldn't Google give priority to vet clinics that make it easy for people to check hours or operation or call for an appointment? And why wouldn't any vet clinic want to take advantage of the opportunity for amounts to a free ad in the SERPs?

    There's a tendency in these forums for people to think "me, me, me." But it isn't always about you, or about me, and SERPs aren't always about 10 blue links to Web sites. Sometimes it's in the interests of users and businesses to have basic information like addresses, phone numbers, etc. in the search results. It isn't the fault of Google, Bing, or Schema.org if some SEOs and site owners don't get the benefits of schema markup.

    johnhh




    msg:4662669
     11:43 pm on Apr 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

    nope benefits of schema markup = 0
    Google is a search engine FULL STOP
    once they get into data site owners will find traffic decreases. We actually try to hide our data from search engines using Ajax, as we have spent a large amount of $/ creating it.
    Sometimes I worry about the bias in certain posts here.

    EditorialGuy




    msg:4662681
     2:19 am on Apr 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

    nope benefits of schema markup = 0


    For you, maybe. But not for the businesses that choose to use it. If you ran, say, a local pizza parlor, wouldn't you like being able to publish your address, opening hours, and pizza-delivery phone number on a Google SERP? How would that hurt you?

    Google is a search engine FULL STOP
    once they get into data site owners will find traffic decreases.


    For years, the stated mission of Google Search has been to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible." The mission statement doesn't say anything about "links and URLs only."

    Again, you're making the mistake of looking at schema markup for operating hours, phone numbers, etc. through the narrow lens of someone who has a Web-only business model and doesn't want calls or visits from customers. And again, nobody is forcing you to use schema markup. But businesses that do find such markup useful shouldn't be forced to give it up just because the owner of an e-commerce site is biased against brick-and-mortar businesses.

    aristotle




    msg:4662706
     11:33 am on Apr 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

    For years, the stated mission of Google Search has been to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible."


    And to make a profit off of all the work that other people have done to obtain that information through study and research.

    And as for making it "universally accessible", Google's search algorithm is so biased in favor of big businesses and big organiztions that minority views and unpublicized and unpromoted information are very difficult to find. It's just another example of how Google supports the status quo and makes it harder for the people of the world to solve their problems through new ideas and innovations .

    aakk9999




    msg:4662711
     1:19 pm on Apr 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

    To get back on topic - if you are a small business and have only one phone number - would you create all four markups with the same phone number:

    Customer service
    Technical support
    Billing support
    Bill payment

    or would you choose only one, and which?

    What other phone number type often used by businesses have they missed (or perhaps they haven't and the four above are most common)?

    aristotle




    msg:4662716
     1:42 pm on Apr 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

    aakk9999 -- That's a good question. If those are the only options, then they don't fit very well with a business that only has one phone number. The owner of such a business would want to show one number for everything.

    EditorialGuy




    msg:4662721
     2:24 pm on Apr 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

    aaakk9999: For usability, you'd just show one phone number, not four instances of the same number. (If the search engine is smart, it would filter out the duplicate content--in your example, the duplicate phone numbers.)

    EditorialGuy




    msg:4662723
     3:13 pm on Apr 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

    Addendum: IMHO, the search engines are well aware that schema markup will be used by spammers, and it's doubtful that they want such markup to be as useless as, say, meta="keyword" statements have become. Common sense suggests that, when a search engine encounters schema markup that looks spammy or compromises usability (e.g., multiple instances of the same phone number to get more screen space), it will ignore the markup.

    Remember, just because a schema type offers a long list of available properties doesn't mean you're obligated to list every possible property. The idea is to mark up your content, not use content as filler for a list of markup properties.

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