JSON-LD: Why It’s Important for Your Website

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What Is Linked Data?
Linked Data empowers people that publish and use information on the Web. It is a way to create a network of standards-based, machine-readable data across websites. It allows an application to start at one piece of Linked Data, and follow embedded links to other pieces of Linked Data that are hosted on different sites across the Web.

JSON-LD is a new web standard that aims to simplify. JSON by itself is a JavaScript-friendly way of storing data. Linked data (the LD in JSON-LD) is the term used to describe how we publish and organize a structure for that information.

Why This Is Important

Everything in the world of computers is driven by data. A person, a place, a thing all can be described with data. The organization of this data is known as Schema.

The more organized this data is, the easier a robot can determine who, what, where, and even when something “is.” Our primary use of Schema at YDOP is to detail the many aspects of a business for better recognition by Google’s web crawlers (and the greater Web).

Lately, I’ve been working to improve our Schema capabilities. Typically, the industry standard has been a method called MicroData, which involves “tagging” associative data onto our existing website content. Imagine a website footer that contains a copyright, business name, address, and phone number. All of that data can be “tagged” with MicroData markup.

Generally speaking, HTML and CSS are good for visual representation of content (like a website footer). However, these current front-end web technologies aren’t as effective for organizing and categorizing data.

JSON-LD is stepping in to revolutionize how we implement Schema data across the web.

JSON-LD gives us the ability to abstract our data from the user-experience and layout code. JSON-LD allows us to place that data in a simple script tag at the top of each page on our website. It’s invisible to your website users, but readable to a computer/web crawler. This means faster development times, vastly improved front end code, and more accurate data feeding to Google (and other data aggregators).