Structured Data - Change History & Alerts

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Structured Data Change History Timeline

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October 2021
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.

03

New recommended property for Math solvers rich result

Updated the recommended properties for Math solvers to include the optional inLanguage property. Use this property to specify the language(s) that are supported by the maths problem solving website. See this table for a list of supported languages.

01

Updated documentation for Math solvers rich result

Google have updated the Math solvers documentation with the addition of six new problem type definitions:

  • Arithmetic
  • Eigenvalue
  • Eigenvector
  • Limit
  • Statistics
  • System of Equations

Problem types are used for either the eduQuestionType for a MathSolver.potentialAction or for the assesses field of a MathSolver when the MathSolver is accompanying a HowTo that walks through a specific math problem.

May 2021
25

Google Search Console to remove generic 'rich results' grouping

In Search Console, Google have 'Search appearance types' to help users differentiate where clicks and impressions are coming from. One of these was a generic 'Rich results' group, which covered multiple rich result types (even ones that had their own breakout grouping). So Google are sunsetting this search appearance, and it will be removed from Search Console on August 1st 2021.

18

Updated regional availability for Job Posting rich result

Google updated their documentation to clarify that the Job Posting rich result is now also available in Austria and Denmark.

18

Updated options for marking up Key moments on Video rich results

Key moments is a feature that enables Google to include jump-points to specific sections of a video when they display it in the search results. They try to automatically detect where they should be, but also provide the video creator options to manually define the important points in the video. They have updated the ways in which this is possible.

  • Clip structured data is now out of beta, and available for anyone to use
  • SeekToAction structured data is a new method for telling Google where timestamps typically go in your URL structure, and is currently in beta.

Other than going out of beta, the requirements or guidelines for Clip have not changed.

10

Schema Markup Validator tool in beta

The Structured Data Testing Tool's new replacement is now in beta, in the form of the Schema Markup Validator tool.

To load any page into the Schema Markup Validator with just one click, we've created a handy bookmarklet which you can find here: Schema Markup Validator bookmarklet.


06

Clarification to publisher logo requirements for AMP Article rich result

On their Article structured data documentation, Google updated the required properties for AMP pages, to clarify that publisher.logo can be either a URL or ImageObject, and added examples for each.

Note that the requirements themselves have not changed, it is just a clarification to more accurately reflect that they understand both raw URLs as well as ImageObject markup.

April 2021
07

Updated guidelines for Video thumbnailUrl property

Google updated the Video structured data documentation to state that the thumbnailUrl property must use one of the supported Google Images file formats. Previously, the documentation didn't include WebP and SVG.

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