By: Akshita
January 24 2018

A Little About Drupal Semantic Web

Over 10 million sites use Schema.org to markup their web pages and email messages.

With increasing culmination of data, the search engine giants planned to break and structure this data to increase the relativity of the search.

Since its inception, the schema has been the underlying framework upon which the structured markup of a web page is built. It provides for the guidelines to establish structured markup of the content.

How does schema work?

If I search for “Apple”, how does Google know which apple I’m talking about? Is it the fruit or the company?

Google suggestions for "apple"
Google suggestion for the keyword - Apple

Even with the additional information given on side of the ‘results’ page, it is able to mark ‘Apple company’ as ‘company’ and ‘Apple fruit’ as a fruit. How is it able to distinguish between the company and the fruit?

Google knowledge graph result for Apple - the company and the fruit
Google knowledge graph result for Apple - the fruit and the company

Whenever any information goes online, the search engines immediately stack the information and categorize it in order to improve the relativity of the search.

It is semantic markup text that provides search engines with a basic blueprint to categorically divide and simplify the information by breaking it into simpler blocks for easy description and discovery.

The basic purpose of structured data is to have extremely relevant results for any sort of query.

Google is sensitive to information, now you know how it identifies apple as a company and not as a red fruit.

Drupal And Schema: The Story So Far

Like any other CMS, Drupal has been working to improve the relativity of information and ranking of Drupal websites on Google. With the launch of version 8, it is the only CMS in the market which provides semantic web in its core (an out-of-the-box solution).

With the launch of Drupal 8, semantic technology was included as an out of the box solution. Schema’s availability in the core ensured that all the information of the website can be presented in a structured manner, as preferred by the search engines.

Another module in Drupal, the RDF module, can be used to add structured markup data to all kinds of web pages. With RDF you can add structured markup to millions of pages by simply adding the right configuration.

Drupal 8 provides RDF mapping for Article and Basic Page content types in its core. All the articles which are added to your Drupal 8 website, have their title, publish date, and author mapped to schema type Article. Whenever any page from your website is crawled, the search engines can simultaneously get the extra information which includes title, author’s information, publish date, and metadata.

All the content types can be mapped very easily with Schema.org data types. Take for example the case of e-commerce websites where the products and their pages can be mapped with schema type product just by adding right configuration to the website. Such pages get significant SEO boost as they contribute to google knowledge graph.

There are also various others contributed modules such as Schema.org Meta tag, JSON LD Drupal, RDF UI which can be used add semantic data of any kind into the website.

However, RDF Mapping wasn't very effective in Drupal 6 and 7, and developers had to manually add every feature by altering the source code of the website.

Drupal provides extensive content type which helps in classifying the content better and editorial features which makes the process easier and on lines with schema model.

RDF module mapping screenshot
RDF Mapping on a Drupal website

 

How Will Drupal Help You With SEO?

The schema can list, break, categorize, and identify the type of information available to it.

Already the brainchild of leading search engine giants, structured markup data is preferred all over the web.

By using Schema Metatag module, Drupal lets you define default structured data values for all content types. It provides a small subset of the values in every page.  

Schema MetaTag module helps you create and clearly distinguish the entity type as:

  1. Article
  2. Event
  3. Organization
  4. Website
  5. Webpage
  6. Item List

This helps enhance your SERP positions. Chances of your product being on the top are higher.

Structured content is preferred as it eases the process of extensive research and classification(for the search engine).

What follows is a chain reaction. Improved rank contributes to increased product visibility. And more is the visibility more are the clicks/visitors and so better the conversions. Better rank also implies more reliability.

According to Drupal.org, “with RDF UI Drupal enables you to specify mappings between content types and fields with types and properties of Schema.org and build Content types based on schema.org. Through the RDF module, specified mappings will be embedded in HTML as RDFa, to provide semantically rich data.”

Future Of Digital Experience With Schema

The schema provides a strong foothold for the mass popularized ‘Internet of Things’, which looks for interconnectivity between people-and-people, people-and-things, and things-and-things.

As we can predict the future of the internet is on those lines, schema provides for a platform which improves the relativity of the search, thus improving the user interface while simultaneously also improving the connectivity between various objects/things on the web.

With everything on the internet, the accuracy needs to be on point. Web 3.0 is all about the intelligent web, comprising high-end accuracy.

The leading search engines have realized the need for ‘intelligent web’ and so rely heavily on semantic web structure to enhance their user experience. The future of the internet relies on ‘smart relevance’ which is only possible through content categorization on uniform standards, which satisfies the envisioned user experience.

Structured data is a step closer to the plausible future, the future of Web 3.0.

To Sum Up

Even though structured markup is time taking, it helps you and the million other users in the longer run. It is bound to help you in the longer run. Structured markup was initially built to understand the information and improve the user experience, with due course of time it contributes additionally to your business too.

Adopt Drupal 8, and worry even less. The ‘RDF’ module, which provides an easy markup of your data comes as an out-of-the-box solution.

If you still haven’t utilized structured data then you are actually missing out on some serious opportunities to optimize the information on your website.

Akshita is a Senior Content & Marketing Associate at OpenSense Labs. A Hubspot certified Content Marketer, she likes to devour content related to SEO, open source technologies, and politics besides Drupal, of course. As a hobby, she trains young girls with TaeKwondo.

She is also a big Game of Thrones fan and quotes Tyrion atleast 5 times a day.