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Ways of marking up a page for a Product

11:57 pm on Jan 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I implemented microformats.org hproduct markup for my product pages a while back. Now I'm re-investigating and it looks like Google prefers schema.org markup and Facebook prefers Open Graph. Has anyone found it worthwhile to set up either for products?

Is the microformats.org format dead?
3:04 am on Jan 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Doesn't seem to be an issue with Google and microformats.org

Oops, maybe it is being replaced...

Or, actually I was right the first time (sort of - lol):
Google will continue to support rich snippets for existing content, so you donít need to redo existing content in the new schema.org format. Changing to the new markup format could be helpful over time because you will be switching to a standard that is accepted across all three companies, but you donít have to do it.

From the 2nd support page linked above.
9:57 am on Jan 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The "2nd support page" that TMS notes above is particularly informative, and it's worth laying out at least some points in partial detail for future reference here. The page leads to a lot of other references, and is worth careful reading.

Going forward, schema.org is the microdata format that will be supported by the big three search engines, but you can keep what you've already done in the other formats mentioned. I'm going to quote extensively (something I see that Google's schema.org help also does), to present what I see as a few of the basics in some kind of order....

schema.org FAQ

schema.org is a collaboration by Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! to improve the web by creating a structured data markup schema supported by major search engines. On-page markup helps search engines understand the information on webpages and provide richer results. A shared markup vocabulary makes it easier for webmasters to decide on a markup schema and get maximum benefit for their efforts.

If youíve marked up your content for rich snippets using microformats, microdata, or RDFa, then you're already familiar with the process. schema.org works the same way, using the microdata markup format and a vocabulary that is shared by all the search engines and that supports a wide variety of item types and properties....

schema.org supports a wide collection of item types, although not all of these are yet used to create rich snippets.

FAQ - schema.org
http://schema.org/docs/faq.html [schema.org]

Why microdata? Why not RDFa or microformats?

Focusing on microdata was a pragmatic decision. Supporting multiple syntaxes makes documentation for webmasters more complex and introduces more overhead in terms of defining new formats. Microformats are concise and easy to understand, but they don't offer an open extensibility mechanism and the reuse of the class tag can cause conflicts with website CSS. RDFa is extensible and very expressive, but the substantial complexity of the language has contributed to slower adoption. Microdata is the most recent well-known standard, created along with HTML5. It strikes a balance between extensibility and simplicity, and is most suitable for building the schema.org....

About Facebook Open Graph...

Quoted both by the Google Support and schema.org FAQ pages above...
How does schema.org relate to Facebook Open Graph?

Facebook Open Graph serves its purpose well, but it doesn't provide the detailed information search engines need to improve the user experience. A single web page may have many components, and it may talk about more than one thing. If search engines understand the various components of a page, we can improve our presentation of the data. Even if you mark up your content using the Facebook Open Graph protocol, schema.org provides a mechanism for providing more detail about particular entities on the page....

Open Graph Protocol

The Open Graph Protocol enables you to integrate your Web pages into the social graph.... The structured data you provide via the Open Graph Protocol defines how your page will be represented on Facebook.

Facebook Open Graph Protocol uses meta tags in the head section of a page and is intended for integrating web pages into Facebook and social search.

schema.org markup is much more granular, is integrated with the data on your web pages to build microdata-rich pages for search.

Depending on the type and content of your pages, both approaches are likely to be useful.
10:33 pm on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Extremely informative post there, thank you. The Open Graph Protocol is especially interesting given Facebook's latest announcement regarding social search. It sounds like OGP and schema.org can coexist nicely.