Understanding Data Items and URIs

Modified on Mon, 5 Jul, 2021 at 11:15 AM

In this training video, we walk you through the fundamental steps of creating data items and URIs using the Schema App Editor

After you create schema markup for your website, it's important to make sure that it's deploying properly. The Schema App Editor makes creating schema markup easier, but there are some important steps and distinctions that we want to highlight.

URIs vs URLs

One of the most important distinctions is the difference between URLs and URIs. Understanding URIs, and how they support your schema markup, will help you to markup your website accurately.

A URI, or Unique Resource Identifier, is a unique string of characters that identifies a resource on the Internet. URIs identify the resource by name, location, or both. When identifying by location, it is a URL, or Uniform Resource Locator.

For example, https://www.schemaapp.com/ is a URI because it is a unique string of characters identifying a resource on the Internet. The type of URI is a URL because it identifies the location that this resource exists on the Internet, and how to access it. A URI is just an identifier for a resource, and a URL is a type of URI that is a locator for that resource - it's as simple as that!

URIs and Schema Markup Hierarchy

URIs are also used to explain the hierarchy of your markup. The way that the Schema App Editor works is that it uses a hashtag (#) after the URL of the webpage where that markup is. Then the Editor labels that URI for the Schema.Org type.

Remember: you need to distinguish your primary schema markup before creating additional URIs to further markup your website. This primary entity is typically the URL for the webpage that you are marking up.

See the following example that is referenced in the training video. The URI of the primary entity describing the page is https://www.food4kidsguelph.ca/, which is also the homepage URL for the company. But since URIs need to be unique identifiers, in order to markup the PostalAddress for the Food4KidsGuelph website, #PostalAddress is appended to the primary Schema.Org URI.

Schema.Org Type (aka Class): Primary entity describes page = “NGO”

Schema.Org Type (aka Class): But there is also a “Postal Address” for the NGO visible on that page

A common mistake is to use the default URIs within the Schema App Editor. Or to not actually set up deployment for your schema markup. Another is to have a hashtag (#) with a Schema.Org type appended to every URI, without having a URL for that webpage as the primary entity. Double-check that your markup is not falling for any of these mistakes, or it will not deploy properly.

Data Items

A data item is a bundle of information consisting of a Schema.Org type (aka class) and associated properties. Defining and labeling these data items using the Editor results in schema markup for your website. This markup explains your website content in a language that search engines can understand.

The two main steps are to first label and then define the data item. You should also give a description of what the data item is, and this helpful video will show you the different ways of populating these properties within the Editor.

Creating custom, connected schema markup can get a bit confusing, even with tools that make it easier like the Schema App Editor. But if you remember that it's always a two-step process - label or identify the data item and then define its properties - you'll be okay.

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