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Structured Data - Change History & Alerts

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Structured Data Change History Timeline

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November 2021
17

Clarification to Job Posting documentation

Not announced by Google, they made additions in multiple places to the Job Posting documentation, to add greater clarity in terms of how to use certain properties:

  • hiringOrganization - If the organization is hiring anonymously (for example, a staffing agency on behalf of an anonymous employer or an employer directly on your platform), use the confidential value.
  • directApply - You likely offer a direct apply experience if the job posting includes instructions on how to apply (for example, the job posting lists the email address, phone number, or physical address where they can submit the application) or directly schedule an interview with an employer. These instructions must be for directly contacting the actual company hiring for the job, or their representative.

They also added clarification under the section 'Content doesn't match the structured data':

"Another example is when the job salary is in the markup but not on the job page. This is also a violation of the content guidelines, as all information in the markup must be visible on the job page."

Resources

16

Guideline added for a required property for the Logo rich result

Google added an additional guideline for the required logo property in their documentation, stating the following:

"Make sure the image looks how you intend it to look on a purely white background (for example, if the logo is mostly white or gray, it may not look how you want it to look when displayed on a white background)."

10

Updated documentation for Logo rich result

Updated Logo documentation to support new flexibility in using the ImageObject type to specify an organization logo.

October 2021
29

Several recommended properties removed from Q&A rich result

Q&A

Google have removed the properties below from their recommended list, stating that they are "unused by Google Search" and that the Rich Result Test doesn't flag warnings for them.

  • mainEntity.suggestedAnswer.author
  • mainEntity.dateCreated
  • mainEntity.suggestedAnswer.dateCreated
  • mainEntity.acceptedAnswer.author
  • mainEntity.acceptedAnswer.dateCreated
  • mainEntity.author

29

Several recommended properties removed from COVID-19 announcements rich result

Google have removed the properties below from their recommended list, stating that they are "unused by Google Search" and that the Rich Result Test doesn't flag warnings for them.

  • provider
  • audience
  • serviceType
  • address
  • category

29

Description recommended property removed from How-to rich result

Google have removed description from their list of recommended properties, stating that it is "unused by Google Search" and that the Rich Result Test doesn't flag warnings for it.

27

Property changed from required to recommended for Job Posting rich result

Google removed validThrough from its list of required properties for the Job Posting rich result, and added it to the recommended properties list.

Resources

15

Modification to required property for Review snippet rich result

Google added a requirement that the author.name field in Review snippets must be less than 100 characters to be eligible for use in Search features.

13

Clarification to VideoGame type for Software App rich results

Google updated their documentation to add a clarification that they will not show a rich result for Software Apps that only have the VideoGame type. To ensure that your Software App is eligible for display as a rich result, you need to co-type the VideoGame type with another type.

For example: ["VideoGame", "MobileApplication"]

August 2021
09

Google's Structured Data Testing Tool now redirects to a landing page

A long time coming, Google's Structured Data Testing Tool (SDTT) is no longer publicly accessible, as the page now redirects to a landing page that encourages you to choose between the Rich Results Test and the Schema Markup Validator.

  • Rich Results Test - this is the official tool for testing your structured data to see if it is valid for Google rich results, but does not check structured data that Google does not support.
  • Schema Markup Validator - this is a 'refocused' version of the original SDTT, migrated onto the schema.org domain, which will validate against Schema.org, but does not validate Google rich results. This tool is officially still in beta, however Google claim it has now 'stabilized'.

Note that if you are looking to find a tool that will validate against Google rich results guidelines AND the Schema.org structured data model, Sitebulb has a standalone structured data checker which will do exactly that.

06

Added recommended property for Article rich result

Google added a new recommended property of author.url, which allows you to specify a link to a web page that uniquely identifies the author of the article, such as a social media profile or a bio page on the website. This author URL acts as a node identifier, and allows Google to disambiguate the correct author of the article.

July 2021
30

Significant update to guidelines for Math solvers rich result

Google have made numerous changes to the Math solvers documentation, including the addition of technical, content, and quality guidelines. The most significant change is the removal of the requirement for a solution page.

28

Removed support for multiple Fact Checks per page

Previously, Google stated on their Fact Check documentation that a single page could host multiple ClaimReview elements, each for a separate claim. This has completely changed, however, and the documentation now states that each page can only be eligible for a single Fact Check rich result, and that the page must only have one ClaimReview element.

27

Clarification to priceRange property for Local Business rich results

LocalBusiness has an (optional) recommended property of priceRange, which is a text field that allows you to specify the relative price range for the business (e.g. $100-$250). Google added a clarification that this field must be shorter than 100 characters, otherwise the price range will not be displayed.

22

Updated content guidelines for FAQ rich result

FAQ

Google updated the content guidelines to expand out this guideline: 'All FAQ content must be visible to the user on the source page,' by providing examples of valid and invalid use cases.

There has been a lot of flux recently in the SERPs for FAQ rich results, and this possibly provides some explanation why.

The valid use cases listed are:

  • Both the question and answer are visible on the page.
  • The question is visible on the page, and the answer is hidden behind an expandable section. The user is able to access the answer by clicking the expandable section.

The invalid use case listed is:

  • The user can't find the FAQ content on the page at all.
22

Removed required property @id from Local Business rich result

Google removed the required property of @id for LocalBusiness, which was designed as a unique node identifier for the specific local business branch.

In their release notes, they claim that 'the url property alone is a sufficient identifier to understand the local business,' which is curious as this remains a recommended property for LocalBusiness.

19

SeekToAction structured data moved out of beta for Video rich results

In moving the SeekToAction feature out of beta, Google have enabled a new way to assign 'key moments' for video content on your website, without having to manually label each segment.

Using the SeekToAction markup you need to tell Google where video timestamps typically go in your URL structure, so that Google can automatically identify key moments, using AI, and link users to those points within the video.

Note that SeekToAction markup applies only to videos embedded on your own site.

13

Added recommended property for Job Posting rich result

Google added a new recommended property of directApply, which allows you to indicate whether the user can directly apply for the job on the URL in question, without lots of intermediate steps like logging in more than once on the application journey.

Additionally, they also added editorial guidelines to the content policy, which clarifies that they do not allow spammy content or even grammatically incorrect content.

07

Schema v13.0 released

Lots of changes to the Pending section, plus two additions to the Core section:

June 2021
18

FAQ rich result now limited to two results maximum

FAQ

Originally noticed by industry members that FAQ rich results had decreased dramatically, this was not changed on the official documentation, however it was confirmed by Google spokesperson Danny Sullivan that the results are now limited to a maximum of two.

11

Modification to required property for Sitelinks search box rich result

Google updated the documentation for potentialaction.target to clarify that they now expect an EntryPoint object with a urlTemplate property. They also note that they do still support the old 'shorthand' format of this property, which essentially matches their previous advice for validity.

11

New recommended property for Dataset rich result

Google added the recommended property of funder, which allows you to identify a Person or Organization that provides financial support for this dataset.

To uniquely identify individuals, you should use the ORCID ID as the value of the sameAs property of the Person type. To uniquely identify institutions and organizations, you should use the ROR ID.

10

Deprecated the Critic review search feature

After testing the critic review markup with a limited number of providers, Google has now determined that the feature 'wasn't useful for the ecosystem at scale', so it has now been deprecated.

08

Updated recommended property for Product rich result

When marking up Product data, as a recommended property you can include a nested Offer. One of the recommended properties for Offer is availability, which allows you to specify the current stock availability of the item. Google have now updated this property to allow BackOrder as an allowed value.

04

Updated recommended properties for Product rich result

Google added the recommended property of gtin (Global Trade Identification Number) as an applicable global identifier. The gtin property generalizes the earlier gtin8, gtin13 and gtin14 properties (which are also still supported by Google).

Separately, the documentation was also updated to clarify that isbn is only a valid property on Book.

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