Check for new Structured Data errors in their Search Console

Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing use structured data within web pages to refine and filter search results more accurately, enhancing the way results are displayed and making it easier for users to find what they’re searching for. Google have just announced they’re supporting JavaScript Object Notation (JSON-LD) for Reviews and Products structured data markup. Google’s structured data tool helps webmasters create and publish markup and validates all Google features powered by structured data. This change to support markup in JSON-LD (as well as in dynamic HTML pages) is significant because hitherto in order to generate Review and Product rich snippets in Google search results, webmasters had to use any 3 types of structured data markup in the form of microdata, microformats and RFDa. In contrast to these structured data markup syntaxes, webmasters can put JSON-LD anywhere in HTML, adding a script tag and keeping it separate from the presentation layer of the page. When going into the Google Search Console, webmasters should look out for new structured data error messages appearing. Web trends and analytics expert John Mueller described the change on Google+ as Google ‘cleaning up’ certain elements of their application logic. To give an example of what he meant by this, there’s now a requirement for explicit reviewed items as well as correct property name values and this requirement is now enforced. Webmasters eager to see if their site’s code is compliant and/or if their site’s affected in any way can view their markup in the Structured Data Testing Tool and Search Console Structured Data Dashboard. Further information about formatting Reviews and Products markup in line with Google’s validation rules is there to explore on Google Developers structured data documentation at ‪ These changes should simplify things for webmasters using structured data. The changes for Reviews and Products mark the most recent advancement by Google following closely behind JSON-LD support for event rich snippets and Knowledge Graph features launched in the first part of 2015, as well as the recipe rich snippets implemented from mid-2015. Webmasters should go to their dashboard and check pages against the structured data testing tool to find out if anything’s flagged up. Those who’ve been adhering to the markup shouldn’t have any problems, but if using a WordPress plugin or similar facilitating tool, errors could appear that were previously invisible, causing issues. The advice to webmasters is to regularly visit their structured data dashboard in the Search Console to keep abreast with resolving any issues that arise. It’s also worth noting there’s a spam-structured markup manual action that will stop a markup from appearing in search engine results. Some WordPress plugins, especially recipe schema plugins, are the culprits, triggering manual actions that need to be resolved for pages to appear in search results once more.


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