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What is 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 you’ve marked up your content for rich snippets using microformats, microdata, or RDFa, then you're already familiar with the process. 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. To learn more about microdata and, read the Getting Started guide.

Why did you create

Having a single vocabulary and markup syntax that is supported by the major search engines means that webmasters don’t have to make tradeoffs based on which markup type is supported by which search engine. supports a wide collection of item types, although not all of these are yet used to create rich snippets. With, webmasters have a single place to go to learn about markup for a wide selection of item types, search engines get structured information that helps improve search result quality, and users end up with better search results and a better experience on the web.

Why microdata? Why not RDFa or microformats?

Historically, we’ve supported three different standards for structured data markup: microdata, microformats, and RDFa. Instead of having webmasters decide between competing formats, we’ve decided to focus on just one format for In addition, a single format will improve consistency across search engines relying on the data. There are arguments to be made for preferring any of the existing standards, but we’ve found that microdata strikes a balance between the extensibility of RDFa and the simplicity of microformats, so this is the format that we’ve gone with.

To get an overview of microdata as well as the conventions followed by, take a look at the Getting Started guide.

How does 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. Even if you mark up your content for Facebook Open Graph, provides an additional way to provide more detail about particular entities on the page.

For example, a page about a band could include any or all of the following:

  • A list of albums
  • A price for each album
  • A list of songs for each album, along with a link to hear samples of each song
  • A list of upcoming shows
  • Bios of the band members

Each of these pieces of information can be represented as a type. If you mark them up using, search engines will have a much stronger understanding of your page's content.

Is available in multiple languages? markup can be used on web pages written in any language. The site is currently available in English only, but we plan to translate to other languages in the future.

Why should I add markup? What will I get out of it? How will the data be used?

Search engines are using on-page markup in a variety of ways—for example, Google uses it to create rich snippets in search results. Not every type of information in will be surfaced in search results but over time you can expect that more data will be used in more ways. In addition, since the markup is publicly accessible from your web pages, other organizations may find interesting new ways to make use of it as well.

Marking up content with

How do I mark up my site using this schema?

Check out the Getting Started guide on the site, or browse the type hierarchy. Many of the types list examples showing sample HTML before and after adding markup, which you can use to figure out the corresponding markup that applies for your own site. You should also test your markup to make sure it is implemented correctly. You can use the Google rich snippets testing tool to see what information Google can extract from your pages.

Why doesn't the rich snippets testing tool show a preview of my search result snippet?

Currently, you can use the testing tool to see what information Google can extract from your pages. We're working on updating the tool so you can see how content marked up with might appear in search results.

Will marking up my content change my site’s search result snippet?

Google currently supports rich snippets for people, events, reviews, productsrecipes, and breadcrumb navigation, and you can use the new markup for these types, just as with our regular markup formats. Because we’re always working to expand our functionality and improve the relevance and presentation of our search results, contains many new types that Google may use in future applications.

Does support all the information types already supported for microdata/microformats/RDFa?

Yes. Anything that could be done using a previous markup format can be done using

I’ve already marked up my content using microdata / microformats / RDFa. Do I need to start again from scratch?

Google will continue to support rich snippets for existing content, so you don’t need to redo existing content in the new 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 don’t have to do it.

Do I have to mark up every property?

It’s fine to mark up only some properties of an item—markup isn’t an all-or-nothing choice. However, marking up as much content as possible helps search engines better understand your content and present it in the most useful way. For many types, Google needs a minimum amount of information to be able to present your content in rich snippets. You can use the rich snippets testing tool to see what information Google can extract from your marked-up pages (we don't yet support previewing how your content might appear in search results, but we're working on it).

Will using improve my site’s performance in search?

Google doesn’t use markup for ranking purposes at this time—but rich snippets can make your web pages appear more prominently in search results, so you may see an increase in traffic.

My website contains content that isn’t supported by Will you add it? How do I mark it up in the meantime?

If you publish content of an unsupported type, you have three options:

  • Do nothing (don’t mark up the content in any way). However, before you decide to do this, check to see if any of the types supported by—such as reviews, comments, images, or breadcrumbs—are relevant.
  • Use a less-specific markup type. For example, has no "Professor" type. However, if you have a directory of professors in your university department, you could use the Person type to mark up the information for every professor in the directory.
  • If you're feeling ambitious, use the extension system to define a new type.
How do I report bugs or make suggestions? I still haven’t gotten an answer to my question.

Check out the official FAQ, or try posting a question in our forum.

updated 07/22/2011

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