Martin Hepp’s work in creating, promoting and implementing the GoodRelations ontology for e-commerce reached another milestone this week, with the first concrete indications that including RDFa metadata in your page will improve its ranking on Google.

Martin and others have been talking about the potential SEO benefits of RDFa for a while, but it looks like that is now being realised by BestBuy through their use of GoodRelations. BestBuy has been carrying out a trial of adding GoodRelations mark-up to its stores and products pages (see this earlier post on the topic): Jay Myers of BestBuy presented some early results of this trial at the Search Engines Strategies 2009 conference this week. (Jay says on Twitter that his slides should be up on Slideshare soon).

Martin’s post on the Business of Linked Data mailing list reports:

  1. “GoodRelations + RDFa improved the rank of the respective pages in Google tremendously”
  2. “Jay also reported a 30 % percent (!) increase in traffic on the BestBuy stores pages”
  3. “Yahoo observes a 15% increase in the Click-through-Rate”.

It’s early days of course, but if these results prove to be repeatable elsewhere, this is likely to be a major shake-up of the SEO world. Better ranking on Google is not the only, or even the main reason to start publishing semantic data, but it’s a specific benefit that many people will quickly understand.

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