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Features, Limitations & Tips For Optimizing Your Site

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Features, Limitations & Tips For Optimizing Your Site

Weebly is a website builder you can use to create your site, blog, or even an online store. Founded in 2007, it was acquired by Square in 2018 and is now the basis for over 50 million websites worldwide.

Builders like Weebly are great for people who need a site but don’t have much (or any) knowledge about HTML, CSS, and other coding languages.

With drag-and-drop functionality, templates, and other useful tools, building websites with Weebly is user-friendly and doesn’t require any specialized knowledge.

But just having a website isn’t enough – it also needs to be found by visitors.

So just how useful is Weebly for SEO?

Do you have control over where your website will rank in search listings?

Is it even possible to show up on the first page of Google with a Weebly domain?

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the advantages and limitations of Weebly sites, cover some of the concerns marketers have about using it for SEO and give you some tips and tricks to help you grow your traffic.

Screenshot from Weebly, February 2022

How Good Is Weebly For SEO?

The question isn’t “Can you use Weebly for SEO?” – Of course, you can.

The real question is “How well do SEO tactics and strategies work with Weebly sites?”

This, like most things SEO, is a bit more complex.

In short, if you’re wondering if a Weebly website can rank highly on search engine results pages (SERPs), the answer is yes.

It comes down to what you put into it.

Factors like keywords, site content, and links all play a role.

And among website platforms, Weebly is one of the better choices, as some SEO functionality is built right into the platform.

Read on to learn some strategies you can implement to optimize your Weebly site and drive more traffic.

Who Uses Weebly?

Many business owners like the do-it-yourself approach Weebly provides.

They can create a professional-looking website without spending thousands of dollars with a web development agency.

It’s a budget-friendly way for small and medium-sized businesses to establish a presence on the internet.

For professionals like artists, graphic designers, and copywriters, who primarily use their website as a portfolio showcase or place to send visitors, it’s extremely useful.

If you’re seeking to use your site to attract new customers or sales and grow your business, it’s generally less effective than other platforms.

But that’s not to say it can’t be used for that purpose.

Weebly CMS for optimizing featuresScreenshot from Weebly, February 2022

How Do I Optimize My Weebly Site?

To understand what it takes to optimize SEO for your Weebly site, it’s first necessary to understand how search engines work.

Search engines determine rankings using four main factors:

  • Crawling and indexing.
  • Algorithms.
  • Machine learning.
  • User intent.

Crawling and indexing are performed by crawlers (also known as spiders), that follow links from one site to the next.

Algorithms are a set of detailed instructions search engines use to determine what content is useful, while machine learning helps fine-tune this process.

Above all, the goal of search engines is to provide visitors with the information they’re seeking, which makes user intent paramount.

For a more in-depth explanation of how search engines work, this is a good place to start.

We’re also going to assume you’ve already set up a Google Analytics account to track web traffic.

If you don’t know how to do that, you can read more about it here.

With these basics out of the way, here are three steps you should take immediately to maximize the rankings of your Weebly site:

  • Optimize page titles – By far the easiest way to boost your Weebly SEO, updating your page titles with relevant keywords will help your site get found (and visited) by the right audience. Not sure what your keyword strategy should be? Keep reading, we’ll cover that a little later.
  • Update page descriptions – The page description, also known as the meta description, is the brief (155 character) blurb that shows up in SERPs describing the page’s content. Compelling descriptions will influence users to visit the link, thus raising your click-through rate.
  • Update your URL and submit your sitemap – Google can discover your site naturally, but this can be a slow process. Instead of waiting, use your Google Search Console account to add your sitemap URL. This will speed up the discovery process and make sure all your pages are indexed. You can read more about crawling and indexing here.

Now let’s dive deeper into how you can do this and discuss other ways you can secure a high ranking.

What SEO Settings Are Offered In Weebly?

One of the biggest benefits of using Weebly as a web platform for your business is its accessibility.

You don’t need to know any coding at all to get started – and this is true for SEO optimization as well.

With a few clicks from the Pages tab, you can open advanced settings for each page.

Here you’ll be able to add Page Titles, Page Descriptions, and Meta Keywords.

How Do I Add SEO Keywords To My Weebly Website?

Let’s look closer at keywords and what it takes to develop a successful strategy.

It starts with research.

You need to determine which queries your target audience will be using, then use those terms as part of your overall content strategy.

Your on-page content needs to use these keywords organically to establish your site’s usefulness.

Using your Google Analytics account or another reliable SEO tool, you can perform research to determine what keywords you should be using.

There are three main elements to consider for this:

  • Relevance – This is where the concept of intent comes in. High-ranking content offers the best fit when it comes to answering queries. The most valuable content will rank highest.
  • Authority – Google weights sources it deems more authoritative. For example, if your keywords are competing with NASA, it’s going to be more difficult to rank highly.
  • Volume – You want keywords people are actively searching for. Being ranked at the top for a term that gets three hits a month is not nearly as useful as being fifth for one that gets 5000.

Your goal is to find high-traffic, low competition keywords, though, with some terms, a high level of competition is inevitable.

For more information about performing keyword research, read this article.

Once you have performed your keyword research, add them into the page title, meta description, and URL structure.

Your on-page content should also be tailored with keyword-rich paragraphs.

But don’t jam in terms where they don’t fit.

This practice can get you dinged by search engines for keyword stuffing which could result in your page being demoted in rankings or even removed from results altogether.

For more information on how to optimize your on-page content, we’ve provided a handy guide here.

Weebly website exampleScreenshot from Weebly, February 2022

Weebly SEO Pros

There’s a good reason why Weebly is used by 45 million users worldwide – it’s simple and affordable.

A free, albeit limited version is available, which lets you to use a Weebly subdomain (e.g., YourSite.Weebly.com) at no cost.

Premium versions are also very affordable, with plans starting as low as $6.00 per month, with available free custom domains.

Weebly allows both premium and free sites to be indexed.

Weebly is also probably the easiest website builder.

Drag-and-drop visual tools let even the most technically deficient users create a good-looking site that’s responsive for mobile visitors.

Adding pages is easy, so you can create child pages that are more in-depth (and keyword-rich).

And the in-page meta data editor lets you optimize it for SEO purposes by easily editing title tags and meta descriptions.

It’s also easy to add a blog to your Weebly site.

Blogs are a great way to boost SEO quality, as they position you as an authority for answering your visitor’s questions.

Quality content on your blog using a variety of on-page SEO tactics will make your site more appealing to visitors and give you more opportunities to rank in search engines.

If you’re a bit more technologically savvy, Weebly also now allows you to add schema to your website.

You can add custom tags to headers and footers and other structured data to help you rank higher.

There are several structured data generators available for free online to help you generate this code if you need it.

Embedding it on your site is as simple as cutting and pasting in the page editor.

Weebly SEO Cons

Now that we’ve covered the good things about Weebly, it’s only fair that we discuss its drawbacks.

The first, and most obvious shortcoming is that it doesn’t allow you to go beyond H2 headers.

You may not be able to subdivide your content the way you want and your copy won’t be as scannable as you might like.

As you build, implement and optimize your website, the other issue you’ll encounter is control restrictions.

Even with a premium plan, Weebly doesn’t allow you to install any software on their site.

This means if you’re using Weebly to build a platform for your business, you can’t integrate content management services.

You may have to rethink your SEO content strategy and find a way to provide the same quality information, without using other services you may currently rely on.

You may also find Weebly’s blog functionality is not up to your standards.

You can’t migrate blog content from another platform, and the layout is fixed.

The comment control and management system is very simple.

Forum options are also very limited.

The previously mentioned third-party restrictions mean you can’t use an element like Tal.ki on your Weebly site.

Weebly’s forum functionality limits sub-forums to five, with only the 15 most recent topics displayed and topics limited to a maximum of 200 replies.

And because hosting communities on your website allows your visitors to organically create the type of relevant content search engines value, this could be a lost opportunity.

The way Weebly backs up sites is also potentially problematic.

You can download your entire site as a zip file, but if you lose your content or your site is deleted, you’ll be stuck rebuilding it from scratch, including your top-performing pages.

Other Weebly SEO FAQs

Should You Host Your Website On Weebly Or Pick An Alternative?

Still not sure if Weebly will work for your SEO needs?

At the end of the day, it comes down to your budget and resources.

If you’re looking for simple and affordable, or you’re a one-person marketing team, Weebly might be just the thing.

You’ll be able to create a nice-looking website that can be optimized to attract web traffic, without spending a lot of time or money.

You can get started in Weebly for free and set up your site in just 60 seconds, even as a complete beginner.

On the other hand, if you have more time, some coding knowledge (or access to developers), WordPress offers a lot more in the way of customization.

Should You Hire A Weebly Expert?

If you don’t have the time to dedicate to building and optimizing your website, or you need it set up quickly, you can hire a professional.

But if you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves and figuring things out on your own, Weebly is very easy-to-use.

How Much Does Weebly Cost?

Weebly offers four plans, ranging from a free basic plan to a $26 per month performance plan. You can learn more about what’s included in each tier by visiting Weebly’s site.

How Can I Promote My Weebly Website?

There are many ways to promote your Weebly site and attract more visitors.

One of the best ones is also important for SEO purposes – backlinks.

Alongside on-page SEO and content optimization, this is one of the most important ranking factors.

Here’s a list of strategies you can use to build links that will improve traffic.

Another great promotional tactic is using social media.

Weebly also gives users the option to use Weebly Promote, a platform for social media ad creation and management.

By integrating directly into your site, it allows you to connect your business’ Facebook page(s) so you can use social display networks for promotion.

Recommended ads are automatically generated, though you also have the option to create custom ads.

Conclusion

Like everything else, Weebly has its plusses and minuses.

Depending on your budget, it can be the perfect all-in-one website builder for your needs.

If you’re an experienced web professional, you may find it lacking, but it’s a great tool for new businesses or companies just launching websites.

There are a few less-than-ideal features, but overall, Weebly is a good platform for most people’s SEO needs.

With a bit of elbow grease and the tips included here, it’s quite possible to have your site show up on the first page of Google.

But like all SEO, it takes work, patience, and determination to reach the top.

More resources:


Featured Image: Ashan Randika/Shutterstock




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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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