Google introduces New Features for Structured Data

Once Google comprehends the content of your website in a structured manner, it can provide far more accurate content to its users. For instance, if your webpage happens to be a structured event, product listing, review, recipe, or other similar content then Google’s algorithms can boost search results by way of rich snippets.

In addition, your data can also be included in Google Now cards or Knowledge Graph panels, which in turn can enhance content visibility. Google has now made it easier for you to take part in structured data features with an update to their Data Highlighter tool along with another brand new tool known as the Structured Data Markup Helper.

Data Highlighter was initially offered in December 2012 to help Google learn about the structured data of events on your site. There was no need to edit the HTML of your site when using this tool. Google has now enhanced the features of the Data Highlighter tool whereby it can learn about several other types of structured data on your site such as articles, products, local businesses, movies, restaurants, TV episodes, and software applications.

You can begin using this tool by visiting Webmaster Tools and clicking on the Optimization link once you have chosen your website. Next, you need to click on Data Highlighter where you will be asked to select the URL of a structured page of your website before you can tag all required fields with the help of your mouse.

It will take around 5 minutes to tag each page and around 15 minutes for formatted pages that form a consistent pattern. Next, Google will ask you to confirm if it has correctly understood your structured data. Upon successful confirmation and publishing to Google, your site will now get a chance to witness enhanced display of content such as reviews, ratings, prices, etc., in Google search results.

In addition to updating the Data Highlighter tool, Google has also introduced the new Structured Data Markup Helper tool. This tool enables you to embed your structured data markup right into your webpages, which in turn ensures that your structured data is available for everybody.

You can begin by providing a URL or HTML source just like in the Data Highlighter. You can then use your mouse to tag important properties of relevant data and upon completion you will receive HTML code generated by the Structured Data Markup Helper. You can download this code and utilize it as a guide as you apply structured data on your site.

All data subset types including those supported by the Data Highlighter are supported by the Structured Data Markup Helper tool. In addition, even those types that are used to embed structured data in Gmail are supported. You can visit schema.org to get the entire schema documentation.

You can try out the above two structured data tools offered by Google and can post your views or queries in Google forums.

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