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Driving Force Blog

  • Say goodbye to SEO "gurus" and hello to microdata.

    Thursday, February 05, 2015

    SEO-friendly data format creates rich snippet search results for every page on your site.

    Over the past 3 years, Google, Yahoo! and Bing have worked together to standardize their search algorithms to read and display a new kind of HTML metatag format: structured data. Unlike obsolete SEO methods (keyword optimization, for example) that force a search engine to guess at a web page's purpose by connecting the dots, structured data allows a web page to describe itself to a search engine in fantastic detail, in a language that search engines understand. This common language allows search engines to create machine-readable rich snippets that provide expanded information and functionality, and which display beautifully in their search results.

    You've probably seen rich snippets before:

    Driving Force Automotive: Say goodbye to SEO "gurus" and hello to microdata.

    How structured data works

    We've rebuilt our website SEO from the ground up to take advantage of a particular structured data format--microdata--which we wrap around every possible element in every page on your website. Department names, employee names and titles, addresses, phone numbers, hours of operation, videos, photos, aggregate reviews ... if the category exists, we use it. Search engines then crawl this data, and use it to assemble a rich snippet for that page, which appears in the search results as an enhanced listing, containing extra information that we specify (such as prices, similar vehicles, or dealer logos), and even extra functionality, like links to contact forms, credit applications and social media profiles.

    Better search indexing and display for Vehicle Details Pages

    Based on the thousands of indexed pages per site that our dealers currently enjoy, we already know that our VDP SEO is top-notch. But we want to take it a step further. We don't just want your pages to be indexed; we want them to stand out in the search results, especially in long-tail searches. We've used every microdata category definition available to make sure that search engines see the full details page, not just the page title.

    A rich snippet of our typical VDP can potentially contain:

    Driving Force Automotive: Say goodbye to SEO "gurus" and hello to microdata.
    • Price and availability
    • Star ratings from trusted sources (Consumer Reports, Car and Driver, Edmunds, etc.)
    • Audience targeting (for search queries such as “best vehicle for a single mom,” or “vehicles discounted for veterans”)
    • Geographical area
    • Manufacturer
    • Interior/exterior colors
    • Similar vehicles
    • Dealer/manufacturer logos
    • Vehicle condition (for used cars)
    • Dealer contact information
    • Vehicle ID number
    • Stock number
    • Trim level
    • Dealer comments/description
    • Photos
    • Links to schedule a test drive, or apply for credit

    Why is microdata good for SEO?

    Driving Force Automotive: Say goodbye to SEO "gurus" and hello to microdata.

    First and foremost, microdata is good for SEO because Google, Yahoo! and Bing have all agreed to support the microdata format for rich snippets, moving forward. This means that Driving Force websites will always conform to the structured data standard employed by the most popular search engines in the world.

    More generally, all search engine spiders recognize a variety of structured data formats, and display that data in their search results in a way that is meaningful to human readers. The advantage we gain by using microdata, instead of a non-standard format (RDFa or hCard), is that the microdata format allows your data to display consistently across the 3 biggest search engines. And when Google, Yahoo! or Bing develops a new rich snippet feature, you may be able to take advantage of it instantly.

    If the information is location-specific, the microdata will be fed directly into a search engine’s location services, like Google Places, and location-oriented search results, which means more organic web traffic from the visitors who matter most: your neighbors.

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