Last week, Google announced that it is changing the way URLs are presented in the SERPs.
On the Google Webmaster Central Blog, Google’s Bartlomiej Niechwiej and Rob Ennals detailed how the algorithms that display URLs in search results on mobile will be updated to reflect sites names instead of domain names.
The post also detailed how the URL structure of the page being returned in search results will be displayed in a breadcrumbs format.
At the current time, the site name change will only affect US search results; use of breadcrumbs is a global update.
Website owners who want to ensure that the site name and breadcrumbs displayed are accurate are encouraged to use schema.org structured data markup, a standard that Google and other search engines support to enhance their content indexing efforts.
Documentation and examples for signaling a preferred site name and breadcrumbs can be found on the Google Developers website. According to the documentation, schema.org markup for breadcrumbs “is being finalized and will be preferred when ready.”
Not surprisingly, Google is cognizant of the potential for abuse and has issued a number of requirements around the use of schema.org structured data. Site names, for instance, must be “reasonably similar to your domain name” and cannot be intended to mislead users.
This is despite stats which suggest pages with schema.org structured data rank four positions higher in search results.
With Google’s latest changes to mobile search results only making schema.org markup more important, now is a good time for website owners who haven’t adopted schema.org markup to reconsider and take a second look.
For more information on how to use schema.org structured data, read What is Schema markup and why should you be using it?