Microformats to Mark Up Discussions, Forum Threads and Comments in Blogs

structured-data-hero

SEO knows Google's universal search representation for discussions in forums. Google knows the page layout of the large forum systems is always the same and lists their pages accordingly. In the case of in-house developments or heavily adapted systems, the question arises of how the data can also be presented to search engines in an understandable manner. The aim is that the data for the “Enhanced Results” can also be used for in-house developments and strongly customized systems.

microformat especially for discussions is not in sight yet, and yet all means are available for a clear distinction:

A list of entries is simply marked using hfeed . The individual entries are marked using hentry within hfeed. Each entry also has a title, content, an author and a date. At least with Call recorder & voice for “Enhanced Results” already.

<div class = ”hfeed”>
 <div class = ”hentry”>
  <h1 class = ”entry-title”> Title for my Enhanced Search Result </h1>
   <div class = ”entry-content”>
     We are testing new markup to get our sites listed as Enhanced Search Results.
   </div>
  Author: <span class = ”vcard author fn”> John Doe </span>
  Last updated: <abbr class = ”updated” title = ”2010-10-19T16: 53: 58 + 02: 00 ″> October 19, 2010 </abbr>
 </div>
</div>

The data can be further enriched by the increased use of microformats. Yahoo! recommends, for example, to also provide a publication date and tags. A presentation by the author can be improved, for example, by means of an hCard microformat.

This should be enough for blogs. Things are a bit more complex for forums. The big difference is that entries in forums are usually displayed across several pages. The affiliation of the entries on the other pages must therefore be clear to the search engines. A good way to do this is to mark up the pagination using rel = ”next” (next page), rel = ”prev” (previous page), rel = ”start” (first page) and to do this within hfeed place. The final result looks like this:

<div class = ”hfeed”>
 <div class = ”hentry”>
  <h1 class = ”entry-title”> Title for my Enhanced Search Result </h1>
   <div class = ”entry-content”>
    We are testing new markup to get our sites listed as Enhanced Search Results.
   </div>
   Author: <span class = ”vcard author fn”> John Doe </span>
   Last updated: <abbr class = ”updated” title = ”2010-10-19T16: 53: 58 + 02: 00 ″> October 19, 2010 </abbr>
 </div>
 <div>
    Page: <a rel=angtstart” href==/?page=1 ″> 1 </a> <a rel = ”prev” href = ”/ ? page = 1 ″> 2 </a>
             <a rel=eltonactive h href=” /? page = 1 ″> 3 </a> <a rel= ne next h href = / /? page = 1 ″> 4 </a>
 </div>