A recent article informs online retailers that “Starting now, you’re going to need good structured markup on your X/HTML in addition to your white hat tactics. I see structured markup as being equally important to authoritative inbound links as a ranking factor when optimizing content. Why? Because search robots are designed to serve search engine users by matching their search query expectations, known as user intent. These bots are machines, and they’re trying to discern the human mind’s evaluation of information in answer to human-entered keywords.”

It continues, “To do that, the machines run a very complex algorithm that weighs the value and interaction of many different factors. And while machines have increasingly improved their answers to search queries over the years, users still get a lot of irrelevant non-specific results. Semantic markup on your static and dynamic product pages provides content meaning so the machine can do a better job of understanding all the details of your product pages. At the same time, a multitude of inbound links tell the machine this is a good site because a lot of authority sites link to it.”

The article adds, “These two things together are going to differentiate your site from those that don’t have semantic markup and powerful links. Therefore, if you focus on these two factors when optimizing your site, this will improve your products’ findability. Structured markup is another step forward in helping search crawlers satisfy user intent.”

Learn more about semantic markup here.

Image: Courtesy Flickr/ trawin