What is the key to successfully running your own business and becoming rich? One part of it is like playing casino games. It is a gamble. You are taking a risk, and you are hoping that the risk will pay off.
The other part is politics. The politics of dealing with government bureaucrats. The politics in dealing with customers. But did you know that there is also politics in dealing with Google and other online search engines?
“It’s a machine. How is politics involved?”
Yes, it is a machine, but it is a machine that was designed by humans. Computers only do what their programmers told them to do. No more, no less. Just faster.
You have a room full of angry customers who want to have their problems solved first. You can create a simple queue. First-in, First-out. Simple and straight forward. But is it the best?
In a hospital no. A heart attack patient will always get treated before the broken arm patient. But most businesses are not life and death customers. Nobody is going to die by going to the end of the line.
That does not mean that you should not use a priority system. Think about these two customers.
Customer 1 has all of their papers out and ready to show you. Account number, the latest bill, and has already written out what their problem is and how they expect you to solve their problem.
Customer 2 gives you their backpack and simply tells you, “Fix my problem”. All of the information to fix their problem is in their backpack. You just have to first go through their backpack to figure out “who they are”, “what their problem is”, and “how exactly they expect you to fix their problem”.
Which of these two customers are you going to help with first, customer 1 or customer 2?
Most businesses are going to help customer 1 first because customer 1 has made it easier for the business to solve their problem.
It is politics. You scratched my back by helping to make it easier for me to help solve your problem. I am going to scratch your back by solving your problem first.
Search engines are no different. You make their job easier, you get put to the front of the queue.
So how do you make a search engine’s job easier? The answer is in Schema.org’s JSON markup which Google calls Google Snippets.
JSON markup is stored in the header of your HTML file. That means that the search engine only has to process the page header to find all of the important relevant data.
Just remember that everything that you put into the JSON code in the header needs to be visible to the human reader. Otherwise, Google will consider your webpage untrustworthy. Google is well aware of all of the keyword stuffing tricks that web pages have done in the past including white text on white background.
It is a bad idea to try to “trick” Google. Just create good webpages and let webpages stand on their own two feet.
How to create a schem.org JSON for a Local Business
The following is an example of how to write a schema.org JSON for a local business. There are 148 different types of Local Businesses which can be viewed at http://schema.org/docs/full.html. Some local businesses have specific data fields for that type of local business. While others have no difference except to tell Google what type of local business you are.
How are JSON schema data fields organized?
In the JSON schema, objects are built on top of objects. So a LocalBusiness is a combination of a Thing (something you can describe with your senses), a Place (physical location), Organization (how the government describes your business), and a LocalBusiness (fields that describe a business vs fields that describe the local public school).
- LocalBusiness object – data fields related to businesses where transactions take place.
- Organization object – data fields related to an organization
- Place – data fields related to a physical location
- Thing object – data fields related to a thing (an object that can be described with our senses)
Things to be aware of with JSON
Even though fields like “address” and “telephone” are listed under both “Organization” and “Place”, for the parent data structure of “DepartmentStore”, there is only one address and one telephone number.
Applications like WordPress have plugins that produce JSON markup, but most are generic and only contain the major fields. That means that you should not just trust a plugin that claims to auto produce JSON code blindly. Double-check the JSON code output yourself by inspecting the final outputting website code that is sent to Google.
Also, remember that Google processes the mobile version of your website. So if the PC version of your website produces the proper JSON code, but if the mobile version of your website does not, Google is going to be reading the incorrect version of your JSON code.
I would also recommend that when you are writing out your JSON code to compare to what your SEO plugin may be auto-creating, start from the bottom of the object specification and work your way up. The most generic fields are on the bottom of the JSON object specification. The most specific data fields are on the top.
Many plugins for most of the major content management systems have some type of SEO plugin. These plugins may include the ability to auto-create JSON code. The reality is that most of these plugins are generic and contain only the most generic JSON fields. Is this enough to describe your business to Google? Maybe, maybe not. That is a business decision.
Right now, schema.org and JSON are still in their infancy. Google still does not fully take advantage of it in its website processing. Specific web pages do not fully take advantage of it in its markup.
As with any business, Google puts its financial interest ahead of your business’. The schema.org objects describing objects that provide the greatest amount of adverting revenue for Google are being coded for first.
But that does not mean that if your web pages do not fit into Google’s main profits that you should not take advantage of schema.org’s data markup. It becomes a situation of the chicken vs the egg. Which comes first? Does Google processing the schema code first or do web pages taking advantage of the markup come first?
I guess that is where the playing casino games part of running a business comes in. You are taking a gamble and hoping that the gamble in the future pays off.