hCard is a microformat that can be placed inside an existing web page to clarify the contact details of companies and organizations. When a search engine or other application indexes a website with hCard formatting it will increase the likelihood that the website’s contact details and physical location will be correctly listed in their index or mapping system.
SEO experts have been arguing about the benefits of the hCard format – especially in regards to local SEO – since their inception. Google recently made a statement on one of their corporate blogs that confirms the benefits of the hCard format in regards to Google Maps & Places, two current hot targets of SEO experts.
“By using structured HTML formats like hCard to markup the business or organization described on your page, you make it easier for search engines like Google to properly classify your site, recognize and understand that its content is about a particular place, and make it discoverable to users on Place pages” says Carter Maslan, Director of Product Management, Local Search here. He goes on to conclude, “…your precise markup helps associate your site with the search results for that particular place.”
While this is not shocking news, it does confirm that hCard formatting is a must have on any website that intends to drive local traffic to their places pages and physical storefronts.
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