Schema.org metadata markup boosts your site’s visibility and search ranking by making it easier for search engines to figure out what your site is about. It’s catching on, but its WordPress plug-ins are wildly different in quality and functionality. Here’s a look at seven.
1. Professional Share is optimized for social media buttons. Its focuses on LinkedIn and the Facebook action verb “recommend”. It has Schema.org and OpenGraph meta tags “for more precise sharing.” What that actually means is a mystery. Schema.org markup is not for social sharing, but what’s worse is that this plug-in uses meta tags.
2. “itemprop WP for SERP/SEO Rich snippets” is simple but essentially useless. It will add the item property “image” to thumbnails without offering any further context. The whole idea behind schema.org is to deliver context to the search engines, so there is no real point here. The plug-in builds on the idea that simply adding a schema.org item property will improve the page ‘s SEO.
3. The Rich Snippet Creator module of the SEO Ultimate plug-in is the first plug-in I found that really encapsulates the purpose of schema.org. It allows you to easily add rich snippet code for reviews and places.
4. WordLift 2.0 is a semantic plug-in for WordPress. Be aware that WordLift 1.6 is non-operational. WordLift was developed by InSideOut10 to enrich user-created text (a blog post, article or web page) with HTML microdata — not just schema.org markup.
WordLift reads your pages or blog posts, “understands” it and enriches it by querying the semantic web and by adding the most relevant information using HTML Microdata. This sounds like marketing speak to me. After that, all the information retrieved can be manually edited by the author of the post (or page). The plug-in uses IKS (Interactive Knowledge Stack), an open source technology for semantically-enhanced content management systems.
It does require your page to connect to its servers. WordLift may be very useful, but as far as I can tell it’s jumping through loops and holes without much reason.
5. Review Schema Markup lets you add a review item to any blog post and displays ratings as stars at the bottom. The star rating is coded in schema.org markup. Useful but not exciting.
6. The Recipe Schema plug-in writes recipes and marks them up with schema.org types and properties. What is special about it is that it allows you to create recipes using free-form text, instead of a form field per line.
7. The Schema Creator plug-in is the most useful and complete schema.org plug-in, in my opinion. It places an icon above the Post/Page rich text editor that gives access to a simple form. It supports a nice number of different item types, and all you need to do is fill in the fields. The correct markup is automatically created for the item type you’re working with.
After filling in the form fields and clicking the OK button, the plug-in will insert the markup into your page/post. Best of all, the plug-in uses shortcode, so you can easily edit the schema after you create it.
To round up all the schema.org offerings, I should mention that Drupal, another CMS, also has a schema.org module.
This is a drop-in solution to allow collections of schemas available at schema.org on a Drupal 7 or later. Site administrators can specify which schema.org terms they want to associate with their content types (e.g. Art Gallery, House, Event, Person, and so on) and their fields (description, participants). The module leverages the native RDFa layer present in Drupal 7 core. At the time of this writing only 1,784 sites have reported using this module.
An alternative to plug-ins altogether is using a desktop text expander such as Typinator on the Mac or PhaseExpress on Windows.
For aNewDomain.net, I’m Erik Vlietinck.