Microdata – old for SEO new for Facebook

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Facebook has just announced their collection of microdata; because the announcement is so recent, its impact is still unclear at this time.

Microdata, however, is nothing new to web developers. Google, for example, has been using it to enrich information for a long time.

We imagine Facebook will use it the same way, with the goal of better understanding the pages and their visitors. As a result, it will not be necessary to use Events in Facebook Pixel.

So, what exactly is microdata, and why should you care?

Microdata is “machine-readable data”. Such data is understood by bots (like Google) and can be used and processed. So if you do not write your website in classic HTML, but rather enrich it with Microdata, it will be understood by both people who can read the text and the bot which visits the page.

For robots to understand information on a webpage, it is necessary to write it in a special format. This format is defined on Schema.org and can be used by anyone on their own website. More detailed information and examples can be found on Wikipedia.

A nice example is Google’s search result feed, which enriches the results of just the information they can read from the site. Probably the most common example of this is found in user ratings and discussions.

For example:

So far, Microdata is still a technology of the future. Facebook has begun to collect microdata, but there is no administrative interface yet to work with.

You can find out what microdata Facebook is collecting from your page with Pixel Helper.

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