1. Glossary
  2. Crawlers
  3. hCard

hCard

In the field of SEO, hCard was best known as a microformat standard used for creating structured data; this data, implemented for the benefit of search engines over people, helps Google to better understand information on web pages. Usage of hCard has been phased out in favour of Schema markup.

hCard vs Schema

hCard has become less popular for implementing structured data since 2011 when, along with other major search engines Yahoo! and Bing, Google unveiled Schema, a new form of markup understood by all major search engines.

Regardless of search engine preference, hCard is still recognised by Google today. However, it is advisable to switch to the markup that has been endorsed by the major search engines.

hCard usage

hCard is an extractable piece of information embedded in the HTML of a web page. It is used as an e-business card that can be viewed and saved to the address book by any website visitor.

It is an exact representation of the vCard in XHTML format, and is used to turn contact information into a semantically correct HTML, RSS, Atom or any arbitrary XML file.

While schema would be our recommended form of markup, hCard can still be used in local search strategies.

hCard format and local search

The hCard microformat allows geo targeting. When embedded into the HTML of a business’ website, it tells the search engines the exact location of that business, indicating its credibility to rank in local search and show up on local maps.

One of the best ways of using the markup is to establish your NAP information. This is your full business name, business address and post of zip code, as well as a landline telephone number.

If you are not a coding whizz, there are plenty of good, free sites out there that can write the coding for your hCard. All you have to do is input the basic information (your address, business name etc) and select the ‘build it’ button.

Our personal favourite is http://microformats.org/code/hcard/creator.

Checking your hCard Format coding for errors

It is always a good idea to run a W3C Validation of your coding, to check for any errors.

http://validator.w3.org/unicorn/#validate-by-input+task_conformance

For more information on the hCard and vCard for geo targeting visit:

http://microformats.org/wiki/location-formats#Geotagging