structured data

Structured Data & Rich Results – The 2018 Edition

We’re officially a month into 2018 and there have been quite a few changes to structured data over the past year. Both Google and Bing introduced new features, support for new schema types and new tools to help us test and diagnose our markup data. It can be a bit difficult to keep up with all of these changes, below I break down the significant updates made by both Google and Bing over the past year. Be sure to check with your SEO manager, agency or Webmaster that you have made updates if applicable to your site based on these changes.

Breakdown of Major Changes Over Past Year

Format Updates

While still supporting Mircrodata and RDFa formats, Google recommends and is pushing for the usage of the JSON-LD format for structured data. This is the format they prefer and clearly highlight as the recommended in their resource webpages and docs.

Terminology Update

Google officially coined the term “Rich Results” as a replacement for Rich Snippets, Rich Cards enriched results etc. Here is what Google said about the update:

“Going forward – to simplify the terminology –  our documentation will use the name “rich results” for all of them”

Google also updated their structured data  resource pages and docs which makes the info very easy to navigate and review. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/search-gallery

Tool Updates

Google also released a new tool for testing structured data called the rich results testing tool. This was not a replacement for the existing Structured Data Tool, instead it’s a new tool to help site owners easily diagnose their pages’ structured data. The tool currently supports tests for Recipes, Jobs, Movies, and Courses. Google plans to expand support for other types.

Rich Results Testing Tool

https://search.google.com/test/rich-results

Structured Data Testing Tool

https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool

Features Expansion & Updates

  1. Google recently added to the structured data resource pages for recipes, articles and podcasts that these content types may be turned into Google Assistant actions. Here is the exact messaging:

By structuring your content according to this guide, your content may be automatically turned into an action on the Google Assistant. You can learn more about Content Actions on the Actions on Google docs

Google Assistant Actions Articles Recipes Podcasts

2. Bing made it official that they may display Open Graph images in Bing News by adding this into to their Marking Up Your Site overview page. https://www.bing.com/webmaster/help/marking-up-your-site-with-structured-data-3a93e731

If your site contains the Open Graph property for images, Bing News may display such images at the pixel size you have specified within the Open Graph image meta-tag, for Bing News search results on PC and mobile.

3. Google warns that you may receive a manual action against your site if you leverage the event structured data markup for coupons/vouchers. https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2017/11/a-reminder-about-event-markup.html

Since this creates a misleading user experience, we may take manual action on such cases. In case your website is affected by such a manual action, you will find a notification in your Search Console account. If a manual action is taken, it can result in structured data markup for the whole site not being used for search results.

4. Google introduced a new (JSON-LD-only) structured data mechanism for publishers to indicate paywalled content. https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2017/10/enabling-more-high-quality-content.html

“Sites with paywalls are strongly encouraged to apply the new structured data to their pages, because without it, the paywall may be interpreted as a form of cloaking, and the pages would then be removed from search results.”

5. Both Google and Bing added support for the Schema ClaimReview markup to power annotations about fact checks directly in the search results. This helps powers the “Fact Check” label in search results which helps users find fact checking information on news, and with major stories and webpages. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/factcheck and https://blogs.bing.com/Webmaster-Blog/September-2017/Bing-adds-Fact-Check-label-in-SERP-to-support-the-ClaimReview-markup

6. Google updated their resource webpages to state that videos and recipe information are accessible via image search

Video markup enables a badge on the image in mobile image search results, which can encourage more users to click your content.

Video Recipe in Image Search

7. Google launched rich card-generating, structured data-powered job postings in the search results with implementation involving two steps:

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2017/06/connect-to-job-seekers-with-google.html

Jobs Rich Cards

8. Google added support for an Organization to be declared as the author of an Article. Previously the only permitted value was Person. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/article

That sums up the major changes over the past year, hope this break down was helps you get a grasp of the changes that have taken place. To learn more about about our structured data and rich results services visit our SEO services page – https://elitesem.com/what-we-do/seo-search-engine-optimization/

 

Tony Edward
About the Author

Tony Edward

Tony Edward is a SEO Team Lead for Elite SEM. Tony is also an Adjunct Instructor of Search Marketing at NYU and a contributing writer to SearchEngineLand.com. He is also the owner of the Cryptocurrency website ThinkingCrypto.com

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