Using microformats benefits web developers from all backgrounds, from those who want to improve Google's ability to interpret their content to those who want to leverage the IndieWeb community's rich ecosystem of tools that are built upon microformats. For instance, one can log into a website using their own website using microformats and IndieAuth, a specification developed by the IndieWeb community.
This document outlines the main reasons why you should consider adding microformats markup to your website.
Why should you add microformats to your website?
Google parses microformats to help them understand your page
Google has parsed microformats for over seven years. Google uses microformats to help better understand the content of a page and to find semantically significant elements which they may choose to represent in a "rich result" on their search engine results pages.
Rich results are good for SEO because they can make a specific web page stand out in the search results. If your competitors already have rich results for keywords for which you want to rank, adding microformats may help you get on the same playing field.
microformats can help feed readers understand content on your site
Using the h-feed specification, you can create rich markup on a web page that some feed readers can understand.
- TK - This needs fleshed out a little bit.
microformats integrates into the IndieWeb ecosystem, offering many benefits
The IndieWeb community makes extensive use of microformats standards. Some of the ways in which the community uses microformats standards includes:
- Creating feeds that can be interpreted by feed readers.
- Marking up likes, bookmarks, reposts, and other social interactions which can then be parsed by some feed readers.
- Using h-card to create profiles of one's self that can be parsed by other tools.
Examples of sites in the IndieWeb community using microformats include:
- TK - Maybe we make this a list of community tools (i.e. Aperture, micro.blog), as opposed to just personal sites.
microformats are easy to understand
Microformats are added onto existing web pages by making use of the HTML "class" attribute. This means that you do not need to create a secondary page which contains a structured representation of data that you want to mark up.
Microformats can optionally be added in files linked with the rel="alternate" or rel="feed" attributes to specify external documents that show a version of a page that contains structured data but this is not required.
Other reasons why you may choose microformats
There are plenty of other reasons why you might choose to add microformats to your website. These include:
Have you decided that you want to add microformats to your web pages? Check out our Getting Started page for a detailed breakdown on what you need to do to start using microformats.
You can also view the "Specifications" section on our main page for a list of all of the stable microformats you can use on your website. That page also includes information on the design patterns upon which microformats are built.