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8 Ahrefs API Use Cases For Agencies and Enterprises

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8 Ahrefs API Use Cases For Agencies and Enterprises

It’s no secret that APIs are a major time saver. They help automate many marketing tasks from creating reports to forecasting SEO opportunities.

They can also improve operational efficiency and provide insights for executives to make better decisions, faster.

Here are the top 8 use cases of our API and how you can leverage actionable SEO and website data in a jiffy.

Reporting is by far the biggest use case of our API. It is ideal for:

  • Building executive dashboards
  • Creating visuals for internal reports
  • Creating scorecards
  • Monitoring your search visibility for key segments
  • Monitoring website health over time

You can warehouse the data yourself and mix it with other sources, or you can visualize it with business intelligence tools like Tableau, Power BI, or even just Google Sheets.

For example, we use the API to pull referring domain data for our blog and aggregate by author. We have some nice little sparklines to visualize growth (or decline), too.

We also combine referring domain data with data from other sources like GSC.

For example, this view shows us actual traffic data from GSC alongside the number of followed DR40+ referring domains for each post:

Pulling referring domain data from Ahrefs API and merging with data from GSCPulling referring domain data from Ahrefs API and merging with data from GSC

No matter what reporting tools you use internally, we’ve made it easy to integrate many Ahrefs graphs and visuals directly into your dashboard so you can build similar reports.

Just use this nifty API button in any report with data that you’d like to pull into your internal dashboards:

Use the API button in Ahrefs to easily pull data with the APIUse the API button in Ahrefs to easily pull data with the API

The true power of using our API for reporting is how it helps you keep your finger on the pulse of every area of your business so you can make better decisions faster.

We recommend building reports to monitor the performance of the following:

  • Each of your business units
  • Different product lines and services
  • Custom segmentation
  • Individual authors and contributors

It’s the best way to identify underperforming or underresourced products and teams. These dashboards can also help you get SEO buy-in from executives so they approve new projects or budget increases.

If you ever need to pull big SEO data and mix it however you like, our API is the tool for the job. It can help with:

  • Large-scale SEO analysis
  • Enterprise audits
  • Data studies
  • SEO testing
  • Content inventory creation
  • Building outreach lists
  • And more

As with most APIs, the best part is that you can pull the data into almost any tool you’re already working with.

For example, say you have a massive list of websites for which you want to pull metrics like Domain Rating (DR). You can do this for up to 200 websites with Batch Analysis—but you can pull the metric for as many URLs as you like with the API.

Here’s a simple example in Google Sheets:

Pulling DR with the APIPulling DR with the API

Alternatively, say you want to enrich your content inventory by pulling the keyword data. Specifically, the keyword sending the most organic traffic to each URL, its ranking position, and the estimated traffic it sends. The API makes it possible to do this at the touch of a button.

Pulling keyword data with the APIPulling keyword data with the API

These are overly simple examples. You can pull as much or as little data as you want to suit pretty much any requirements. You can even mix and match data from Site Explorer, Site Audit, Keywords Explorer, and Rank Tracker.

The true power of an API kicks in when you automate strategic tasks that cannot easily be scaled manually and can be done better when you automate them.

It’s the secret to taking your strategies to the next level, especially for enterprise SEO projects.

For instance, you can automate many link building workflows like triggering alerts and actions based on discovering new or lost links.

Example link building workflow you could build with the Ahrefs APIExample link building workflow you could build with the Ahrefs API

You can also automate technical workflows like finding pages to redirect. On large websites, this can be an overwhelming task to do manually. A simple workflow you can consider instead might look like:

Example technical workflow you could build with the Ahrefs APIExample technical workflow you could build with the Ahrefs API

Sidenote.

If this use case sounds interesting, feel free to check out this free redirect-matching script created by our technical SEO genius, Patrick Stox. Once configured, it automatically runs through the above process for you.

The opportunities for automated workflows that harness our SEO API really are endless. We’ve seen folks use our API to:

  • Pull keywords into internal systems and tag them based on products, services, locations, or business units they relate to.
  • Pull domain metrics for domain buying.
  • Combine SEO data with Google Ads data to lower ad costs.
  • And so much more.

Many agency sales teams, digital investors, and B2B business development managers use our API data to assist with things like:

  • Lead scoring and enrichment
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Finding advertising partners
  • Doing due diligence on companies

For example, let’s say you’re evaluating the following companies as prospects for a new marketing product or service you’re launching.

Example of lead scoring with Ahrefs APIExample of lead scoring with Ahrefs API

In this example, we’ve pulled the following website metrics to help score these prospects:

  • Domain Rating (DR) can help determine the size and authority of a prospect’s company.
  • Organic Cost can indicate a website’s size and visibility potential.
  • Paid Cost can help indicate the current budget a company is investing in Google Ads.

Depending on what your ideal customer looks like, you can score these prospects in a few different ways using these three metrics alone.

For instance, you can favor indicators of underperformance if you sell a service that can help close a performance gap:

Qualifying prospects by growth potential with Ahrefs APIQualifying prospects by growth potential with Ahrefs API

Or if you offer a high-ticket product or service, you can qualify prospects based on indicators of business size or the size of their budgets:

Qualifying prospects by business size with Ahrefs APIQualifying prospects by business size with Ahrefs API

No matter the case, you can use the data available in our API to draw conclusions like the following about any prospects you’re evaluating:

  • Showit is the ideal candidate for us to work with. There’s a lot of room for growth and we can make a decent impact with our competitively priced marketing services.
  • WordPress is a great candidate for us to pitch our PPC services since it has the smallest spend among website-building platforms of similar size.
  • Webflow may be a great candidate for our non-search marketing services. They clearly have a marketing budget for PPC and SEO, and they may also be open to investing in other channels.

Bottom line? If website performance can be used as an indicator to segment your prospects or leads, our API can help enrich your sales processes big time.

While using SEO metrics to qualify leads is one potential use case for sales teams, another is to use these metrics to help close more deals by:

  • Creating data-driven case studies
  • Populating data into customized sales decks
  • Sharing the performance of your entire client portfolio

For example, some forward-thinking agency sales teams use our API to pull organic data across their client portfolios. They build performance dashboards that they then send to prospective clients.

And sure, at a small scale you can simply use our Portfolios feature that allows you to track multiple websites as a cohort:

Portfolios in Ahrefs' Site ExplorerPortfolios in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

But with the API, you can aggregate more metrics and track more projects so you can display real-time results to prospective clients.

Ever wanted to say (and prove) to potential clients things like the following?

  • “We’ve delivered over 10,000 position 1 rankings for our clients in the last 6 months.”
  • “Six of our clients have achieved over 1 million organic visits after partnering with us.”
  • “We’ve saved our clients an average of $100,000/month in ad spend.”

With our API, you can. It’s all about aggregating SEO performance metrics to help your proposals stand out from the crowd.

The global ecommerce market is forecast to hit $6.3 trillion in 2024, and with more people buying online now than ever before, digital performance data is vital for investors to be able to access in real time.

If you’re a venture capitalist, hedge fund manager, or private equity investor, you can use our API as an alternative data source to:

  • Monitor online market movements
  • Check your portfolio’s digital performance
  • Track online performance of any company
  • Be instantly notified of website traffic losses
  • Inform your investment decisions

For instance, in this video, Sam looks at how the websites with the most visibility in search engines perform as a custom stock portfolio against some of the most popular assets in the world like the S&P 500, Nasdaq 100, real estate, gold, bonds, and Bitcoin.

For seasoned investors, the power of data available in our API can help take your investment decisions to the next level. You can integrate graphs from the Ahrefs dashboard directly into your tools (thanks to our nifty API button) or mix website traffic data with other data sets however you like.

For instance, let’s say you’re considering investing in a particular company. Everything looks good on paper, and you’ve been monitoring its growth over the last few months, including its website performance.

Had you not added a graph tracking their website performance in your dashboard (like the following), you may not have noticed this 25% loss of organic traffic early enough to take appropriate action:

Organic traffic graphOrganic traffic graph

In some industries, this may not matter regarding the stock value since website visits don’t necessarily translate into purchases or company valuation. In others, it could be a deal breaker.

If multiple companies in the same vertical are experiencing similar losses in visibility, this could indicate a widespread market movement you need to know about. Traffic losses across multiple websites can also often indicate revenue losses across the industry.

For instance, this is an example of two market-leading companies in a specific vertical experiencing traffic losses at a similar time.

Organic traffic graph for multiple websitesOrganic traffic graph for multiple websites

And here you can see their keyword ranking movements echo one another with similar rises and dips after January 2024:

Organic keywords graphOrganic keywords graph

Such patterns can indicate a bigger issue affecting the entire market, not just specific companies.

The data available in our API can help you monitor widespread market movements and changes in search behaviors across any vertical you’re interested in and in real-time.

While website performance data on its own is not enough to base investment decisions on, it is a vital alternative data source to help you beat the market and mitigate potential losses.

Competitive intelligence is what Ahrefs was built for. With analytics tools and Google Search Console, you can easily find performance data about your own website. But what about competitors?

Our tool allows you to compare apples to apples when looking at competitor data. In particular, our API can help you automate things like:

  • Creating competitor scorecards
  • Estimating resources needed to catch up to competitors
  • Monitoring competitor movements
  • Gathering historical insights
  • Finding and predicting untapped opportunities

For example, Patrick recently created a handful of beginner-friendly competitor scorecards that you can also take for a spin.

To use these you will need to first make a copy and add your Ahrefs API key. If you’re using the general scorecard, you’ll need to select a date (it must be the first date of a month to work). Then, add your domain and your competitors.

You won’t need to add a date with the MOM and YOY versions. Just add the API and competitor URLs.

Here’s an example of what the output will look like:

Example output for competitor scorecardExample output for competitor scorecard

If you find yourself running competitor gap analysis reports at scale, you may also benefit from using our API to automate competitor backlink analysis and closing content gaps against top competitors.

Making projections is a core staple of enterprise SEO. It’s how executive teams are able to approve projects and allocate funding appropriately.

It’s also how agency owners set their agencies apart from competitors by adding forecasts to their sales pitches.

With our API and these free templates that Patrick has pre-built, you can:

Check out Patrick’s detailed post on all things to do with SEO forecasting for more ideas and tips on how to use these free templates in your business today.

Final thoughts

With the power of seriously big data on your side, the possibilities for how you can automate SEO tasks, site audits, and reports are endless.

The Ahrefs API offers many data points no other tool offers. We’ve designed it that way on purpose.

Feel free to book a demo with our enterprise team to see what our API can do for your business.

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The 6 Biggest SEO Challenges You’ll Face in 2024

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The 6 Biggest SEO Challenges You'll Face in 2024

Seen any stressed-out SEOs recently? If so, that’s because they’ve got their work cut out this year.

Between navigating Google’s never-ending algorithm updates, fighting off competitors, and getting buy-in for projects, there are many significant SEO challenges to consider.

So, which ones should you focus on? Here are the six biggest ones I think you should pay close attention to.

Make no mistake—Google’s algorithm updates can make or break your site.

Core updates, spam updates, helpful content updates—you name it, they can all impact your site’s performance.

As we can see below, the frequency of Google updates has increased in recent years, meaning that the likelihood of being impacted by a Google update has also increased.

How to deal with it:

Recovering from a Google update isn’t easy—and sometimes, websites that get hit by updates may never fully recover.

For the reasons outlined above, most businesses try to stay on the right side of Google and avoid incurring Google’s wrath.

SEOs do this by following Google’s Search Essentials, SEO best practices and avoiding risky black hat SEO tactics. But sadly, even if you think you’ve done this, there is no guarantee that you won’t get hit.

If you suspect a website has been impacted by a Google update, the fastest way to check is to plug the domain into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

Ahrefs Site Explorer screenshotAhrefs Site Explorer screenshot

Here’s an example of a website likely affected by Google’s August 2023 Core Update. The traffic drop started on the update’s start date.

Website impacted by Google's August 2023 Core UpdateWebsite impacted by Google's August 2023 Core Update
Hover over the G circles on the X axis to get information about each update.

From this screen, you can see if a drop in traffic correlates with a Google update. If there is a strong correlation, then that update may have hit the site. To remedy it, you will need to understand the update and take action accordingly.

Follow SEO best practices

It’s important your website follows SEO best practices so you can understand why it has been affected and determine what you need to do to fix things.

For example, you might have missed significant technical SEO issues impacting your website’s traffic. To rule this out, it’s worth using Site Audit to run a technical crawl of your website.

Site Audit screenshot, via Ahrefs Site AuditSite Audit screenshot, via Ahrefs Site Audit

Monitor the latest SEO news

In addition to following best practices, it’s a good idea to monitor the latest SEO news. You can do this through various social media channels like X or LinkedIn, but I find the two websites below to be some of the most reliable sources of SEO news.

Even if you escape Google’s updates unscathed, you’ve still got to deal with your competitors vying to steal your top-ranking keywords from right under your nose.

This may sound grim, but it’s a mistake to underestimate them. Most of the time, they’ll be trying to improve their website’s SEO just as much as you are.

And these days, your competitors will:

How to deal with it:

If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to do these two things:

Spy on your competitors and monitor their strategy

Ok, so you don’t have to be James Bond, but by using a tool like Ahrefs Site Explorer and our Google Looker Studio Integration (GLS), you can extract valuable information and keep tabs on your competitors, giving you a competitive advantage in the SERPs.

Using a tool like Site Explorer, you can use the Organic Competitors report to understand the competitor landscape:

Organic competitors screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerOrganic competitors screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can check out their Organic traffic performance across the years:

Year on Year comparison of organic traffic, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerYear on Year comparison of organic traffic, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can use Calendar to see which days changes in Positions, Pages, Referring domains Backlinks occurred:

Screenshot of Ahrefs' Calendar, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerScreenshot of Ahrefs' Calendar, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can see their Top pages’ organic traffic and Organic keywords:

Top pages report, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerTop pages report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

And much, much more.

If you want to monitor your most important competitors more closely, you can even create a dashboard using Ahrefs’ GLS integration.

Google Looker Studio integration screenshot,Google Looker Studio integration screenshot,

Acquire links and create content that your competitors can’t recreate easily

Once you’ve done enough spying, it’s time to take action.

Links and content are the bread and butter for many SEOs. But a lot of the time the links that are acquired and the content that is created just aren’t that great.

So, to stand the best chance of maintaining your rankings, you need to work on getting high-quality backlinks and producing high-quality content that your competitors can’t easily recreate.

It’s easy to say this, but what does it mean in practice?

The best way to create this type of content is to create deep content.

At Ahrefs, we do this by running surveys, getting quotes from industry experts, running data studies, creating unique illustrations or diagrams, and generally fine-tuning our content until it is the best it can be.

As if competing against your competitors wasn’t enough, you must also compete against Google for clicks.

As Google not-so-subtly transitions from a search engine to an answer engine, it’s becoming more common for it to supply the answer to search queries—rather than the search results themselves.

The result is that even the once top-performing organic search websites have a lower click-through rate (CTR) because they’re further down the page—or not on the first page.

Whether you like it or not, Google is reducing traffic to your website through two mechanisms:

  • AI overviews – Where Google generates an answer based on sources on the internet
  • Zero-click searches – Where Google shows the answer in the search results

With AI overviews, we can see that the traditional organic search results are not visible.

And with zero-click searches, Google supplies the answer directly in the SERP, so the user doesn’t have to click anything unless they want to know more.

Zero Click searches example, via Google.comZero Click searches example, via Google.com

These features have one thing in common: They are pushing the organic results further down the page.

With AI Overviews, even when links are included, Kevin Indig’s AI overviews traffic impact study suggests that AI overviews will reduce organic clicks.

In this example below, shared by Aleyda, we can see that even when you rank organically in the number one position, it doesn’t mean much if there are Ads and an AI overview with the UX with no links in the AI overview answer; it just perpetuates the zero-clicks model through the AI overview format.

How to deal with it:

You can’t control how Google changes the SERPs, but you can do two things:

Make your website the best it can be

If you focus on the latter, your website will naturally become more authoritative over time. This isn’t a guarantee that your website will be included in the AI overview, but it’s better than doing nothing.

Prevent Google from showing your website in an AI Overview

If you want to be excluded from Google’s AI Overviews, Google says you can add no snippet to prevent your content from appearing in AI Overviews.

nosnippet code explanation screemshot, via Google's documentationnosnippet code explanation screemshot, via Google's documentation

One of the reasons marketers gravitated towards Google in the early days was that it was relatively easy to set up a website and get traffic.

Recently, there have been a few high-profile examples of smaller websites that have been impacted by Google:

Apart from the algorithmic changes, I think there are two reasons for this:

  • Large authoritative websites with bigger budgets and SEO teams are more likely to rank well in today’s Google
  • User-generated content sites like Reddit and Quora have been given huge traffic boosts from Google, which has displaced smaller sites from the SERPs that used to rank for these types of keyword queries

Here’s Reddit’s traffic increase over the last year:

Reddit's organic traffic increase, via Ahrefs Site ExplorerReddit's organic traffic increase, via Ahrefs Site Explorer

And here’s Quora’s traffic increase:

Quora's organic traffic increase, via Ahrefs Site ExplorerQuora's organic traffic increase, via Ahrefs Site Explorer

How to deal with it:

There are three key ways I would deal with this issue in 2024:

Focus on targeting the right keywords using keyword research

Knowing which keywords to target is really important for smaller websites. Sadly, you can’t just write about a big term like “SEO” and expect to rank for it in Google.

Use a tool like Keywords Explorer to do a SERP analysis for each keyword you want to target. Use the effort-to-reward ratio to ensure you are picking the right keyword battles:

Effort to reward ratio illustrationEffort to reward ratio illustration

If you’re concerned about Reddit, Quora, or other UGC sites stealing your clicks, you can also use Keywords Explorer to target SERPs where these websites aren’t present.

To do this:

  • Enter your keyword in the search bar and head to the matching terms report
  • Click on the SERP features drop-down box
  • Select Not on SERP and select Discussions and forums
Example of removing big UGC sites from keyword searches using filters in Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerExample of removing big UGC sites from keyword searches using filters in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

This method can help you find SERPs where these types of sites are not present.

Build more links to become more authoritative

Another approach you could take is to double down on the SEO basics and start building more high-quality backlinks.

Write deep content

Most SEOs are not churning out 500-word blog posts and hoping for the best; equally, the content they’re creating is often not deep or the best it can possibly be.

This is often due to time restraints, budget and inclination. But to be competitive in the AI era, deep content is exactly what you should be creating.

As your website grows, the challenge of maintaining the performance of your content portfolio gets increasingly more difficult.

And what may have been an “absolute banger” of an article in 2020 might not be such a great article now—so you’ll need to update it to keep the clicks rolling in.

So how can you ensure that your content is the best it can be?

How to deal with it:

Here’s the process I use:

Steal this content updating framework

And here’s a practical example of this in action:

Use Page Inspect with Overview to identify pages that need updating

Here’s an example of an older article Michal Pecánek wrote that I recently updated. Using Page Inspect, we can pinpoint the exact date of the update was on May 10, 2024, with no other major in the last year.

Ahrefs Page Inspect screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerAhrefs Page Inspect screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

According to Ahrefs, this update almost doubled the page’s organic traffic, underlining the value of updating old content. Before the update, the content had reached its lowest performance ever.

Example of a content update and the impact on organic traffic, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerExample of a content update and the impact on organic traffic, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

So, what changed to casually double the traffic? Clicking on Page Inspect gives us our answer.

Page Inspect detail screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerPage Inspect detail screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

I was focused on achieving three aims with this update:

  • Keeping Michal’s original framework for the post intact
  • Making the content as concise and readable as it can be
  • Refreshing the template (the main draw of the post) and explaining how to use the updated version in a beginner-friendly way to match the search intent

Getting buy-in for SEO projects has never been easy compared to other channels. Unfortunately, this meme perfectly describes my early days of agency life.

SEO meme, SEO vs PPC budgetsSEO meme, SEO vs PPC budgets

SEO is not an easy sell—either internally or externally to clients.

With companies hiring fewer SEO roles this year, the appetite for risk seems lower than in previous years.

SEO can also be slow to take impact, meaning getting buy-in for projects is harder than other channels.

How long does SEO take illustrationHow long does SEO take illustration

How to deal with it:

My colleague Despina Gavoyannis has written a fantastic article about how to get SEO buy-in, here is a summary of her top tips:

  • Find key influencers and decision-makers within the organization, starting with cross-functional teams before approaching executives. (And don’t forget the people who’ll actually implement your changes—developers.)
  • Adapt your language and communicate the benefits of SEO initiatives in terms that resonate with different stakeholders’ priorities.
  • Highlight the opportunity costs of not investing in SEO by showing the potential traffic and revenue being missed out on using metrics like Ahrefs’ traffic value.
  • Collaborate cross-functionally by showing how SEO can support other teams’ goals, e.g. helping the editorial team create content that ranks for commercial queries.

And perhaps most important of all: build better business cases and SEO opportunity forecasts.

If you just want to show the short-term trend for a keyword, you can use Keywords Explorer:

Forecasting feature for keywords, via Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerForecasting feature for keywords, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer
The forecasted trend is shown in orange as a dotted line.

If you want to show the Traffic potential of a particular keyword, you can use our Traffic potential metric in SERP overview to gauge this:

Traffic potential example, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerTraffic potential example, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

And if you want to go the whole hog, you can create an SEO forecast. You can use a third-party tool to create a forecast, but I recommend you use Patrick Stox’s SEO forecasting guide.

Final thoughts

Of all the SEO challenges mentioned above, the one keeping SEOs awake at night is AI.

It’s swept through our industry like a hurricane, presenting SEOs with many new challenges. The SERPs are changing, competitors are using AI tools, and the bar for creating basic content has been lowered, all thanks to AI.

If you want to stay competitive, you need to arm yourself with the best SEO tools and search data on the market—and for me, that always starts with Ahrefs.

Got questions? Ping me on X.



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Why Now’s The Time To Adopt Schema Markup

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Why Now's The Time To Adopt Schema Markup

There is no better time for organizations to prioritize Schema Markup.

Why is that so, you might ask?

First of all, Schema Markup (aka structured data) is not new.

Google has been awarding sites that implement structured data with rich results. If you haven’t taken advantage of rich results in search, it’s time to gain a higher click-through rate from these visual features in search.

Secondly, now that search is primarily driven by AI, helping search engines understand your content is more important than ever.

Schema Markup allows your organization to clearly articulate what your content means and how it relates to other things on your website.

The final reason to adopt Schema Markup is that, when done correctly, you can build a content knowledge graph, which is a critical enabler in the age of generative AI. Let’s dig in.

Schema Markup For Rich Results

Schema.org has been around since 2011. Back then, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex worked together to create the standardized Schema.org vocabulary to enable website owners to translate their content to be understood by search engines.

Since then, Google has incentivized websites to implement Schema Markup by awarding rich results to websites with certain types of markup and eligible content.

Websites that achieve these rich results tend to see higher click-through rates from the search engine results page.

In fact, Schema Markup is one of the most well-documented SEO tactics that Google tells you to do. With so many things in SEO that are backward-engineered, this one is straightforward and highly recommended.

You might have delayed implementing Schema Markup due to the lack of applicable rich results for your website. That might have been true at one point, but I’ve been doing Schema Markup since 2013, and the number of rich results available is growing.

Even though Google deprecated how-to rich results and changed the eligibility of FAQ rich results in August 2023, it introduced six new rich results in the months following – the most new rich results introduced in a year!

These rich results include vehicle listing, course info, profile page, discussion forum, organization, vacation rental, and product variants.

There are now 35 rich results that you can use to stand out in search, and they apply to a wide range of industries such as healthcare, finance, and tech.

Here are some widely applicable rich results you should consider utilizing:

  • Breadcrumb.
  • Product.
  • Reviews.
  • JobPosting.
  • Video.
  • Profile Page.
  • Organization.

With so many opportunities to take control of how you appear in search, it’s surprising that more websites haven’t adopted it.

A statistic from Web Data Commons’ October 2023 Extractions Report showed that only 50% of pages had structured data.

Of the pages with JSON-LD markup, these were the top types of entities found.

  • http://schema.org/ListItem (2,341,592,788 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/ImageObject (1,429,942,067 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/Organization (907,701,098 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/BreadcrumbList (817,464,472 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/WebSite (712,198,821 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/WebPage (691,208,528 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/Offer (623,956,111 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/SearchAction (614,892,152 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/Person (582,460,344 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/EntryPoint (502,883,892 Entities)

(Source: October 2023 Web Data Commons Report)

Most of the types on the list are related to the rich results mentioned above.

For example, ListItem and BreadcrumbList are required for the Breadcrumb Rich Result, SearchAction is required for Sitelink Search Box, and Offer is required for the Product Rich Result.

This tells us that most websites are using Schema Markup for rich results.

Even though these Schema.org types can help your site achieve rich results and stand out in search, they don’t necessarily tell search engines what each page is about in detail and help your site be more semantic.

Help AI Search Engines Understand Your Content

Have you ever seen your competitor’s sites using specific Schema.org Types that are not found in Google’s structured data documentation (i.e. MedicalClinic, IndividualPhysician, Service, etc)?

The Schema.org vocabulary has over 800 types and properties to help websites explain what the page is about. However, Google’s structured data features only require a small subset of these properties for websites to be eligible for a rich result.

Many websites that solely implement Schema Markup to get rich results tend to be less descriptive with their Schema Markup.

AI search engines now look at the meaning and intent behind your content to provide users with more relevant search results.

Therefore, organizations that want to stay ahead should use more specific Schema.org types and leverage appropriate properties to help search engines better understand and contextualize their content. You can be descriptive with your content while still achieving rich results.

For example, each type (e.g. Article, Person, etc.) in the Schema.org vocabulary has 40 or more properties to describe the entity.

The properties are there to help you fully describe what the page is about and how it relates to other things on your website and the web. In essence, it’s asking you to describe the entity or topic of the page semantically.

The word ‘semantic’ is about understanding the meaning of language.

Note that the word “understanding” is part of the definition. Funny enough, in October 2023, John Mueller at Google released a Search Update video. In this six-minute video, he leads with an update on Schema Markup.

For the first time, Mueller described Schema Markup as “a code you can add to your web pages, which search engines can use to better understand the content. ”

While Mueller has historically spoken a lot about Schema Markup, he typically talked about it in the context of rich result eligibility. So, why the change?

This shift in thinking about Schema Markup for enhanced search engine understanding makes sense. With AI’s growing role and influence in search, we need to make it easy for search engines to consume and understand the content.

Take Control Of AI By Shaping Your Data With Schema Markup

Now, if being understood and standing out in search is not a good enough reason to get started, then doing it to help your enterprise take control of your content and prepare it for artificial intelligence is.

In February 2024, Gartner published a report on “30 Emerging Technologies That Will Guide Your Business Decisions,”  highlighting generative AI and knowledge graphs as critical emerging technologies companies should invest in within the next 0-1 years.

Knowledge graphs are collections of relationships between entities defined using a standardized vocabulary that enables new knowledge to be gained by way of inferencing.

Good news! When you implement Schema Markup to define and connect the entities on your site, you are creating a content knowledge graph for your organization.

Thus, your organization gains a critical enabler for generative AI adoption while reaping its SEO benefits.

Learn more about building content knowledge graphs in my article, Extending Your Schema Markup From Rich Results to Knowledge Graphs.

We can also look at other experts in the knowledge graph field to understand the urgency of implementing Schema Markup.

In his LinkedIn post, Tony Seale, Knowledge Graph Architect at UBS in the UK, said,

“AI does not need to happen to you; organizations can shape AI by shaping their data.

It is a choice: We can allow all data to be absorbed into huge ‘data gravity wells’ or we can create a network of networks, each of us connecting and consolidating our data.”

The “networks of networks” Seale refers to is the concept of knowledge graphs – the same knowledge graph that can be built from your web data using semantic Schema Markup.”

The AI revolution has only just begun, and there is no better time than now to shape your data, starting with your web content through the implementation of Schema Markup.

Use Schema Markup As The Catalyst For AI

In today’s digital landscape, organizations must invest in new technology to keep pace with the evolution of AI and search.

Whether your goal is to stand out on the SERP or ensure your content is understood as intended by Google and other search engines, the time to implement Schema Markup is now.

With Schema Markup, SEO pros can become heroes, enabling generative AI adoption through content knowledge graphs while delivering tangible benefits, such as increased click-through rates and improved search visibility.

More resources: 


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Google Quietly Ends Covid-Era Rich Results

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Google Quietly Ends Covid-Era Rich Results

Google removed the Covid-era structured data associated with the Home Activities rich results that allowed online events to be surfaced in search since August 2020, publishing a mention of the removal in the search documentation changelog.

Home Activities Rich Results

The structured data for the Home Activities rich results allowed providers of online livestreams, pre-recorded events and online events to be findable in Google Search.

The original documentation has been completely removed from the Google Search Central webpages and now redirects to a changelog notation that explains that the Home Activity rich results is no longer available for display.

The original purpose was to allow people to discover things to do from home while in quarantine, particularly online classes and events. Google’s rich results surfaced details of how to watch, description of the activities and registration information.

Providers of online events were required to use Event or Video structured data. Publishers and businesses who have this kind of structured data should be aware that this kind of rich result is no longer surfaced but it’s not necessary to remove the structured data if it’s a burden, it’s not going to hurt anything to publish structured data that isn’t used for rich results.

The changelog for Google’s official documentation explains:

“Removing home activity documentation
What: Removed documentation on home activity structured data.

Why: The home activity feature no longer appears in Google Search results.”

Read more about Google’s Home Activities rich results:

Google Announces Home Activities Rich Results

Read the Wayback Machine’s archive of Google’s original announcement from 2020:

Home activities

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