Web development and SEO specialists have gotten a lot of positive news to talk about this year. Google put into place their Panda update which has got content farms running for the hills. Also the big three in search have teamed up and introduced Schema.org that search professionals and web developers can effectively utilize metadata on their websites to begin differentiating content by adding semantic definitions to things like address’, phone numbers, and book titles.

From a white hat SEO perspective this year has been like a mini Aufklärung, an Age of Enlightenment that we’ve all been waiting for like a clean freak looking forward to spring. For the industry, this could be a game-changer and a true move towards fulfilling the dream of a semantic web. For the first time content farms have been penalized in a way that is bold and substantive.

Websites use to be able to generate lots of Google ad-sense revenue by creating hybride websites of regurgitated original content that the Google engine seemed to think was deserving of top-ten placement. Sites like Stack Overflow are coming up more prominently in search results related to programming and White hat SEO developers everywhere are swooning over the push to make Metadata the new de facto layer of effective SEO.

Structured Data

Metadata makes Google very happy, so happy in fact that it could pull up your postal address and display it right below your URL within its search results. By utilizing metadata and wrapping your content in the appropriate tags, that’ll send an important signal to the search engine as to how it should be treated.

A good example of this is the itemtype PostalAddress . Here is an example of it’s use:

<div itemscope itemtype="schema.org/PostalAddress"> 
<span itemprop="name">Apple</span> 
<span itemprop="streetAddress">1 Infinite Loop</span> 
<span itemprop="addressLocality">Cupertino</span> 
<span itemprop="addressRegion">CA</span> 
<span itemprop="postalCode">95014</span> 
<span itemprop="addressCountry">United States</span> 

With this you’re declaring data using a machine readable approach. The search engine or bot can properly consume the metadata and output through the appropriate channels. With the PostalAddress tag Google can match what’s going on in your places listing with what actually resides within your sites content. The depreciation of the keyword meta tag can make more sense when site owners realize how well structured this is for SEO. Why have a hodgepodge of keywords stuffed within a head tag when you can smartly declare a well defined bushel of data.