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New Display for Microformats on Google?

Update: It appears that the code doesn’t have to contain microformatting exactly.  Mike Blumenthal has indicated “I have determined that it is an upgraded Plus Box display which doesn’t require rich snippets but any reliable web-based address info that Google trusts.”  So basically, as long as Google is sure it’s an address displayed on your website, your site could now display like this in Google’s search results.

As of today, several of our employees were seeing this “weird” format on Google. It kinda appeared like a Google + Local result but the bubble had no letter attached on it. Also, when you click on the bubble, it didn’t directly link to the business G+ Local page, it lead to a preview of their page in maps.google.com.

What the Heck is a Microformat?

Microformats are basically a way you can mark up code on a website to tell search engines what the code means. For example, you might have an address listed on your website. Normally, the search engines are smart enough to know it’s an address, but to be safe, if you label it with a specific code, Google can easily categorize it as an address and it can cause your site to appear differently on Google.

Some examples of microformats are addresses and reviews for businesses. For example, if you are a review site, like Yelp, you can mark up code in your website to tell search engines that a review displayed on your site is in fact a review. By labeling it this way in the code of your website, it can cause the following display on Google (gold stars).
The format change we are seeing today is to do with the business addresses as shown below:

How Google was Displaying Microformats Before
What Google is Displaying Today
What it Links to When you Click the Red/Grey Dot


Posted by Joy Hawkins
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