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Twitter cards/open graph - on page SEO?

     
9:21 am on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Watched a Whiteboard Friday from Moz and it was kind of implied that this is an important part of modern on-page SEO. Is this the case? Or does it just make your pages look better when shared in social?

I work in higher education so it's unlikely that much of our content ever gets shared, but it's worth adding if it's an important aspect of on-page SEO.
3:58 pm on Mar 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As far as I'm aware this type of markup has no direct benefit for SEO, though perhaps it could help give Google more context of the page and have an indirect impact. But since you're in higher education I'd focus on other schema to improve the indexing of your site, rather than social markup. That said, if it's not too much trouble for you to add Cards and OG there's no harm in doing so!
10:07 am on Mar 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think that social markup is vitally important in the promotion of a site. Social sharing is made many times more effective like having good OpenGraph markup and a really good picture choice.

Pictures really draw the eye in a site like Facebook. I've had arguments with clients over bad selections of photos. The lack of good images can really blow a promotional opportunity. Such social promotion is very possibly better than most guest blogging these days... Yes, it is indirect, but that's how Google prefers it to dropping direct links in blog posts.
10:40 am on Mar 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Agreed... no on-page SEO points but the traffic boost comes back to helping your site.
4:00 pm on Mar 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I believe that there is a statement out there that social signals could be used as a supplementary signal to confirm that a site is authoritative or popular. It's something that deserves more study but at this point there is no basis for calling such a social signal a ranking signal.


Be careful about what's said in certain blogs. There is a history of some blogs promoting ideas that have no basis in any patents or scientific research, or of being half right and half wrong.

What makes those half right ideas extra confusing is when they do cite a patent. What sometimes happens is they seize on a single detail within the patent and ignore the larger context surrounding that detail. Here's an example: There was the situation when Bill Slawski reviewed a certain patent that made reference to unlinked citations. Certain bloggers ignored the larger context and this gave rise to the myth of Brand Mentions.

What makes this myth even stranger is that those who believe in "brand mentions" link to the Bill Slawski blog post to justify their belief even though Bill himself is in the comments section arguing against the commenters who are promoting the idea, trying to tamp down that fire.

If something sounds strange, do as you just did in this forum, ask about it then make your own conclusion. Nothing that is written about SEO is gospel, not on WebmasterWorld or anywhere else. It's a matter of using your own best judgment.

Good luck!

Roger Montti
9:09 am on Mar 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, all. It's weighing up the cost of implementing the markup, versus the inevitable argument I'll end up having with the web dev team to actually get it added. We don't control the html (apart from adding content), so I'd need to ask them, so I'm prioritising things that'll help our course pages rank more highly.

With this in mind, does anyone have any good markup suggestions for the HE industry? I've added a 'Course' markup to one of our course pages but sadly, this hasn't been picked up. It's a shame because, when it is picked up, it takes up so much real-estate on the page it really enhances (one would think) your CTR opportunity.
11:12 am on Mar 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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'Course' markup


You mean schema.org structured data markup?
11:27 am on Mar 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yes that's right. So, to the course page, I've added -

<script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"http://schema.org","@type":"Course","name":"Course name","description":"Course Description.","provider":{"@type":"Organization","name":"organisation namel","sameAs":"http://www.oursite.ac.uk/course/"}}</script>

I've put it into the structured data markup tester and it's fine, but it's not been picked up. But it offers a good opportunity as mentioned above, so if you have any examples of markup I could implement, it'd be hugely grateful!

Cheers,

Rhys
1:11 pm on Mar 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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SITE INFORMATION
site name in SERPs
[developers.google.com...]

Breadcrumbs
[developers.google.com...]

Sitelinks Searchbox
[developers.google.com...]


Your Authorized Presence

Corporate Contacts
[developers.google.com...]

Logo
[developers.google.com...]
2:21 pm on Mar 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for those links, quite interesting to see what options are available.

Don't think any of those will really help because we're trying to push specific courses. I was quite impressed with <snip>. Besides the Sitelinks Searchbox and we already use that. But that example shows how impressive it can be, because their listing is so much more impressive than their competitors.

They used an ItemList Schema Markup...not sure if that would work for us because we have one course per page (like a product page in ecom).

[edited by: goodroi at 4:23 pm (utc) on Mar 6, 2017]
[edit reason] Please no specific urls [/edit]

2:37 pm on Mar 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Don't think any of those will really help because we're trying to push specific courses.


No offense, but you're overlooking the true importance of structured data markup by restricting the definition of usefulness to those courses. Additionally, if you think the usefulness is for ranking purposes then you might as well stop right there because you're laboring under a false goal. The fact is that none of the SCHEMA data are useful as on-page SEO ranking factors. They are useful for other reasons.

The schema markup helps in many ways. For example, by increasing the appearance of authority in the SERPs. Authority and trust are major conversion factors.

The breadcrumbs create a greater impact in the SERPs by drawing the eye but also in communicating to the viewer, to increase CTR.

Good luck,

Roger Montti
9:15 am on Mar 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, Roger.