The White House Takes a Critical Step In The Effort To Share Essential Resources & Information About COVID-19

White House Schema.org

On Wednesday, the White House Chief Technology, Information, and Digital Officers called for federal websites to incorporate new Schema.org tags about COVID-19. 

Schema.org is a joint effort founded by tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo to create standard tags that can be added to any website’s code, making webpages containing particular information easier to find in search results. These newest tags contain information about COVID-19 prevention measures, disease spread statistics, quarantine rules and travel guidance, as well as information about getting tested. The White House announcement also encouraged state and local governments, as well as the private sector, to use this vital information. 

The White House’s embrace of these Schema standard tags on a federal level is key to ensuring that COVID-19 resources and information surface online across search results. This is incredibly important at a time where fear and anxiety are high and people have more questions than ever about their health, safety, and government response to the pandemic.

Here at Yext, answering questions is something we know a lot about. The work we do with Schema.org is aimed at making sure the data about our clients’ brands is structured in a way that search engines can understand and categorize. This makes their web pages easier to find when customers search for information. 

We can’t overstate how much web page discoverability matters. Today, most people ask questions in search engines or on major digital platforms like Google, Bing, Alexa, and Apple Maps. Sometimes the answer is surfaced directly in those platforms, in the way that Google often gives a single factual answer to questions that have one. But these AI-powered discovery services can’t produce the right answer if the underlying information isn’t structured in a way that is intelligible to them. That’s why incorporating Schema.org tags into website code is so necessary for optimizing the accuracy and specificity of search results. 

We applaud the White House’s dedication to surfacing critical information about COVID-19 across all online search experiences. We’re committed to helping federal, state, and local government agencies provide answers to their residents, on their websites, and directly in  search engine results. 

We’ve been doing this for a long time for Yext’s commercial customers. But during this recent crisis, we’ve dedicated our resources pro-bono to structuring COVID-19 webpages for the states of New Jersey and Alabama, as well as the U.S. Department of State. We believe that making up-to-date information easily accessible to people can help save lives. This is true all the time, but it feels even more urgent right now. 

In these uncertain times, we are in awe of our front-line health care and other essential workers, and we appreciate our public servants more than ever. We’re proud to do our part to help government agencies and businesses alike deliver great user experiences while providing essential answers.

Yext is volunteering our services to help governments and NGOs keep the public informed. Learn more here.

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