Dublin Core for Better Ranking

Scott HarveyDublin Core, Local SEO Tips0 Comments

Dublin Core for Better Ranking

Okay, I live and breathe this stuff, and I’d never even heard of the Dublin Core before last year.  So, as a local business owner, do you need to drop everything and pay your webmaster a bunch of money to add this to your site?


However…keep reading just a little further for some tips on how to use the “Dublin Core” for better ranking.

As the online world continues to become more competitive at a crushing pace, any little differentiator can help.

And when Google is constantly searching for better ways to separate the wheat from the chaff, even small advantages like this become important.

Google is all about relevance and a “good user experience” for its users– and their users are people performing a search…looking for YOUR practice, need I remind you.

It’s just plain smart to add code to your website to make it easier for Google to figure out what your business is about, which in turn will help you rank higher for relevant terms.

You can stop reading now if you are already convinced to add this to your list of things to do to your website.

But if you’d like some additional (geeky) detail – read on.

Dublin Core is a group of “meta tags” located in the header information of your website.  Again, its job is to tell search engines all about your site.

If you have any interest in the technical side of things, you probably remember that for a while, years ago, people would stuff their keywords into meta tags and it helped quite a bit.

The search engines have long since devalued that tactic to the point where it is only useful for your own reference – they simply ignore it.

With Dublin Core, you can create a laser-targeted set of keywords.  But more than that, you can include all kinds of other info as well that – you guessed it – gives Google a better idea of what your page, and in turn your website, is about.

Yep, simply – you’ll rank better by using Dublin Core.

This is different from the keyword-stuffing abuse of the past because Dublin Core is all about “the semantic World Wide Web.”  According to the creator of the term (and the creator of the WWW itself, Tim Berners-Lee), it means “a web of data that can be processed directly and indirectly by machines.”  (Thank you Wikipedia.)

In other words, so far search engines have had to read what website authors write for human visitors and interpret that through massively complex algorithms, sort out spam and artificial high-ranking tricks, etc.

But the semantic web takes it further, so that we are putting a common, standard set of information inside web pages specifically for search engine spiders and other machines to read.

Dublin Core Example


Here is a quick example of the actual code, although it is for the sake of completeness only – you certainly don’t need to understand any of this to run your business!


<link rel=”schema.DC” href=”http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/”>

<meta name=”DC.title” content=”Dublin Core for Better Ranking”>

<meta name=”DC.publisher” content=”Honest PPC” />

<meta name=”DC.publisher.url” content=”http://honestppc.com/” />

<meta name=”DC.description” content=”An executive summary for local business owners.  Use Dublin Core in your website to help improve your ranking and the love you get from the big G.”>

<meta name=”DC.subject” content=”dublin core for better ranking, dublin core seo, what is dublin core”>

<meta name=”DC.date.created” scheme=”WTN8601″ content=”2011-01-05T00:09:41″ />

<meta name=”DC.created” scheme=”WTN8601″ content=”2011-01-05T00:09:41″ />

<meta name=”DC.date” scheme=”WTN8601″ content=”2011-01-05T00:09:41″ />

<meta name=”DC.creator.name” content=”Scott” />

<meta name=”DC.language” content=”en-US” scheme=”rfc1766″ />


For additional, really geeky, technical information to give to your webmaster, visit  http://dublincore.org/.

Finally, a word of warning.

I can already see this becoming a new buzzword that will get shoved down your throat.  Probably not even by the end of this year, but maybe next.

That will cause specials to spring up like mushrooms, where everybody tells you why you have to do this right now.  Or your practice will implode.

They’ll tell you how complicated it is, and how they have to do all kinds of programming you’d never understand, and put this all through some powerful black box.

For thousands of dollars, of course.

At the risk of hate mail from future Dublin Core consultants out there…I can tell you it ain’t that tough.

As long as your website was built using any moderately recent platform, this is pretty simple to do.

We’ll give you all the information (free) that your webmaster should need to do this – just leave a comment below.

Or, you can also leave a comment below if you want me to give you a fantastic site you can use to outsource this work, for a fraction of what the typical web programmer would charge you.  It is safe and reputable, and you don’t pay until the work is done!

We have no affiliation with this company – we just want more people to implement this smart technique and not get held up by cost or bamboozling (is that a word?) by your webmaster.

Finally, if you are running your website on WordPress, here is a plug-in that makes this almost automatic.  http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/dublin-core-for-wp/ It is free, but still in beta testing, so it isn’t 100% bulletproof.

I’ve never seen it screw up anything on our site, but sometimes it simply forgets to add the Dublin Core information into our posts and pages. I’m confident they’ll get the issue figured out soon.

So if you want to help your site rank higher, use Dublin Core.

Talk back below and let me know if you have any questions or additional information on this topic.

We look forward to hearing from you!


P.S.  The name “Dublin” comes from Dublin, Ohio where the original work on this initiative started – not Dublin, Ireland.  Its mystique dropped a bit for me when I found that out for some reason…

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