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New Display for Microformats on Google?

Posted: July 31, 2012 at 8:09 pm

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
Joy Hawkins

Joy Hawkins

Product Consultant at Imprezzio Marketing
I am obsessed with all things pertaining to Google and small businesses. I am an Adwords Certified Individual and am one of the few Top Contributors on the Google My Business Forum.I have self-taught myself all about Local SEO and have been working in the industry since 2006. I am a moderator on the Local University Forum & the Local Search Pros Community. This year, I was a contributor to the Moz Local Search Ranking Factors survey. I have also had the privilege of speaking at SMX.
Joy Hawkins
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