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Optimized Google Search

Once you have your website running you need to look address an important question. What do the search engines think about my website? Specifically google.

How a website looks to us and how it looks to a search engine like google are very different things. WMT seems to be the short form for webmaster tools these days so that is where you should start for google. Bing and Yahoo have their own and you can deal with all of them with a purchased service for SEO or deal with them yourself.

Sitemap.xml and Robots.txt
Thankfully the search engines provide us with tools to address that and each search engine has a different tool for it that they provide you for free but it does take some effort to go through it all. Google’s webmaster tools is an example of that. You will need to provide it with information about your site and can also guide it by providing a sitemap (typically sitemap.xml) file. This tells google what to read on your site, or index as they call it. You can create a sitemap file online or manually, but a good place to go for that is https://www.xml-sitemaps.com as long as it isn’t too big. Here is a sitemap.xml sample.


<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<!– created with Free Online Sitemap Generator www.xml-sitemaps.com –>


Another file called Robots.txt tells it what not to read, usually done in subdirectory fashion like a security access file, should you need that sort of thing. Both sitemap and robots are useful for all search engines. Here is a robots.txt sample.


SITEMAP: http://artofcommerce.com/sitemap.xml

User-agent: *
Disallow: /Adirectory/
Disallow: /Bdirectory/

Once you have these two files, which you typically load into the root folder of your website (your public_html) on most web hosted accounts and then tell google webmaster tools what the name of the file is along with your website url (http://www.artofcommerce.com/sitemap.xml). The robots.txt is a standard name, you don’t have to do anything more than have it located in your websites root.

Typically indexing is a 24 hour process and you need to go back to webmaster tools to check on the results of your sitemap posting and if there were any errors in the process.

Google Structured Data
Google also has another new element that is worthy of your investigation called structured data. This allows you to include data that is specifically designed to inform google about your company, products and promotional product information. Google offers two ways to accomplish this; by using their data highlighter on the webmaster tools search console or by including code in your website within the relevant page or pages. You can also do both.

The Data Highlighter allows you to highlight parts of your actual webpages and use that to fill in the structured data or add the structured data code within your website.

The basic idea is that google can show not only a link to your website but also company information that is relevant such as product detail and product promotion detail which may give them a reason to click on your link rather than the other relevant result links above or below you in google’s search results. It is a good reason.

Structured Data from google is worthy of your investigation. So for starters, you can use the highlighting tool to tell google about your company or you can include the following code on your main page.


<!– COMPANY –>

<script type=”application/ld+json”>
“@context” : “http://schema.org”,
“@type” : “Organization”,
“url” : “http://www.artofcommerce.com”,
“logo” : “http://www.artofcommerce.com/img/logo.png”,
“contactPoint” : [{
“@type” : “ContactPoint”,
“telephone” : “+1-647-657-2476”,
“contactType” : “customer service”
<script type=”application/ld+json”>
“@context” : “http://schema.org”,
“@type” : “Organization”,
“url” : “http://www.artofcommerce.com”,
“sameAs” : [

The first informs the reader about the company and contact points, which can be expanded to include additional locations and geographical information related to phone contacts. The second informs the reader about the social links related to your company. In the above example we are using the JSON-LD method. There are two others with JSON-LD support on the implementation path. The other two are MICRODATA and RDF already in support.

Additionally there is support for products and product promotions, events, performers, venues, tickets, music, movies, recipe, reviews, and software applications.

Here is what a product structured data element looks like in the JSON-LD.


<!– Structured Data Schema –>
<!– for more info check https://developers.google.com/structured-data/ and http://schema.org

<!– ld+json script – in implementation with google as of 2015-10-15 —>
<div class=”ldjson”>
<script type=”application/ld+json”>
“@context”: “http://schema.org/”,
“@type”: “Product”,
“name”: “Art of Commerce™”,
“image”: “http://artofcommerce.com/img/logo.png”,
“description”: “A system designed for enterprises in the product development and distribution industry to integrate merchandise development, presentation, sales channels, logistics and fulfillment operations.”,
“mpn”: “100001”,
“brand”: {
“@type”: “Software”,
“name”: “CAPETOWN”
“aggregateRating”: {
“@type”: “AggregateRating”,
“ratingValue”: “1.0”,
“reviewCount”: “0”
“offers”: {
“@type”: “Offer”,
“priceCurrency”: “USD”,
“price”: “0.00”,
“priceValidUntil”: “2015-09-15”,
“itemCondition”: “http://schema.org/New”,
“availability”: “http://schema.org/InStock”,
“seller”: {
“@type”: “Organization”,

Again, you can use the data highlighter in webmaster tools (WMT) to do this manually, but it makes a lot of sense to add this to your web projects if the product you are using doesn’t support it, it shouldn’t be too large of a project to make this work for you. Here is a sample with JSON-LD, MICRODATA and RDF;


It will be interesting to see the results of structured data, and what happens when there is a lot of it, some companies have a lot of products and how much of that information is allowed or should be. At first glance it looks great for events, software products and promotional and new products or product promotions but perhaps not all products in your inventory.  Perhaps less is more in this particular area.

Most e-commerce packages have a section for promotional products of featured products which you could easily manage a code snippet. When integrating the above into our own site the JSON-LD was by far easier to do with no impact on the presentation of the website. The other two would have been more work to implement, not impossible but certainly more so than the JSON-LD.

If you have only a few products to do or want to test just a few use the highlighting tool in the search console of webmaster tools.

We will add more to this post as we come across it.