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, helped Google to better understand information on web pages. Usage of hCard has been phased out in favour of Schema markup.
hCard vs Schema
Hcard is no longer a particularly useful SEO tool for implementing structured data. It was replaced by schema in 2011.
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.
hCard format and local search
The hCard microformat allowed for geo targeting. When embedded into the HTML of a business’ website, it would tell 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 to use the markup was 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.
For non coding pros, there were plenty of good, free sites out there that could write the coding for your hCard. All you had to do was input the basic information (your address, business name etc) and select the ‘build it’ button.
Our personal favourite was http://microformats.org/code/hcard/creator. As of 2023, microformats.org/code/hcard/creator was still live and kicking!