Why? Because this allows Google to better understand your web pages and improve the presentation of your snippet (a rich snippet) upon Google’s result’s page (and Place Pages in Google maps) by displaying key information about your business.

By marking-up certain information using microdata you can specify events, reviews, people or company profiles. The support for microdata is an addition to Google’s existing support for microformats and RDFa, which have been supported for a while.

The techie stuff

Here’s and example of a company’s details without using microformatting:

<div>
    <address>
           <strong>Silkstream Ltd</strong><br />
           Lion House, 36 Clarence Street<br />
        Southend-on-Sea<br />
        Essex SS1 1BD
    </address>
    <p><atrong>Tel:</strong> +44 (0)1702 331900</p>
</div>
 

Here is the same HTML marked up with the hCard (person) microformat.

<div class="vcard">
    <span class="fn org">Silkstream Ltd</span>
    <div class="adr">
        <span class="street-address">Lion House, 36 Clarence Street</span><br />
    <span class="locality">Southend-on-Sea</span>,
    <span class="region">Essex</span>
    <span class="postalcode">SS1 1BD</span>
    </div>
    Tel: <span class="tel">+44 (0)1702 331900</span>
    <span class="geo">
                <span class="latitude">
                   <span class="value-title" title="51.535878" />
                </span>
                <span class="longitude">
                   <span class="value-title" title="0.712406" />
                </span>
         </span>
</div>
 

As the above example shows it’s not that difficult to amend your current web pages to use microformats. Did you notice that there’s also a tag specifically for geo coordinates for Google maps? All that’s required is the geo cooridinates for your business, event or whatever you are tagging.

How do I find my coordinates?

I found this piece of code the other day and I love it. It returns your longitude and latitude references from Google maps. Go to maps.google.co.uk and enter a postcode… click enter. Then paste the following code into your address bar and hit enter:

javascript:void(prompt('',gApplication.getMap().getCenter()));

Bingo.

Happy microformatting!

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Leigh

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