There are a lot of best practices for improving your Drupal SEO, back links, and social media sharing. In this post I’ll cover some of the main areas of improving your search results and focus more on several key areas such as authorship, metadata, schema, and rich snippets.
Let’s face it, there are a lot of posts currently online listing the top Drupal SEO modules to use. This is useful to many Drupal beginners. However, I’d like to take little deeper look at some of the best practices to improving rich snippets to increase your Drupal SEO, brand/name, and search rankings.
1. Improving “Authorship” and “Publisher” SEO
There are quite a lot of SEO options that will enhance your markup that search engines will now utilize in their search listings. Since this could be a post entirely in itself, I’d like to simply list some examples and modules where these ideas can be explored a little more.
For some time Google has offered several “authorship” tags, such as rel=author and rel=publisher. These can quickly enhance the display of a profile, company, or brands image and provide those details alongside search results. This can be a real advantage for website publishers who want that extra boost in Google search results pages.
The Drupal Google Authorship module (https://drupal.org/project/google_authorship), for example, will allow this option for website administrators. This module will add an extra field to the Drupal 7 user entity to store your Google+ profile ID. Using that field, if it is filled, this module alters the “Submitted by” line of a node’s full content display to link to the Google+ profile of the appropriate author. Or, it will add a link within the HTML head element. Finally, by setting the “rel=‘author’” attribute, Google search bots will recognize and display an author’s profile picture in its search results. This can be an added advantage for many websites, helping them gain more click throughs and increase your brand, name, and give you a slight competitive advantage.
2. Drupal Schema and Structured Data (Rich Snippets)
Improving your website schema (or structured data) is important. Doing so helps machines extract relevant data from HTML. Doing so can also enhance your search results. Structured data or schema data could include URLs, images, reviews, the name of an item or product, and so on. Here’s a list of Google’s rich snippets for further reading. And, here’s an example of rich snippets in Google’s search results.
To improve your own website’s schema, you should install and configure one of the modules currently available for this task. Drupal has several contributed modules, such as the Schema module (https://drupal.org/project/schema) or Schema.org module (https://drupal.org/project/schemaorg). Also be sure to check out the Schema.org video for this module that can better explain how to implement rich snippets for your Drupal website.
With these modules you can map your content types and fields to the correct schema.org terms. Bing, Google, and Yahoo! all recognize the schema options for improving their own search results. Just like rel=publisher and rel=author, using the standardized schema rich snippets can improve your rankings, can speed up website indexing, and ultimately give you that competitive advantage you need to out-maneuver others vying for the same position in search results.
A similar module for serving up rich snippets is Micro Data (https://drupal.org/project/microdata). You may need to check out this module under certain conditions where Views and Panels will possibily override or produce incorrect RDFa markup.