In the world of SEO, hCard was best known as a microformat standard used for forming structured data; the data was created for the benefit of search engines over people. This helps search engines to have a better understanding of the information on web pages. Schema markup has now replaced hCard.
hCard vs Schema
Since 2011, when major search engines like Google unveiled Schema, this new form of markup, hCard has become less used for implementing structured data.
However, hCard is still recognised by Google today. With that said it is advisable to switch to the new markup that has been endorsed by the major search engines.
hCard is embedded in the HTML of a web page and is an extractable piece of information. It is essentially used as an e-business card that can be viewed and saved to the address book by a site 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 caters for geo targeting. When it is embedded in to the HTML of a website, it will tell the search engines the exact location of the business, highlighting its credibility to rank in local search and show up on local maps.
The best way of using the markup is to establish your NAP information. This is your full business name, business address and post code, as well as a landline telephone number.
If you are not familiar with HTML, there are a number of free sites out available that can write the coding for your hCard. All you have to do is enter the basic information (your address, business name etc) and select the ‘build it’ button.
Here is an example http://microformats.org/code/hcard/creator.
It is always worth running a W3C Validation of your coding, to highlight any errors.