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Understanding Google’s Structured Data Updates

Technology often moves quicker than we anticipate, so it’s important to keep all of our customers in the loop about the latest developments.

One of our primary concerns as digital marketing specialists is ensuring that we follow the latest Google updates and trends.

Google updates change how we work as SEO specialists and can transform our digital landscape at the drop of a hat.

With that in mind, let’s look at the most recent Google updates related to structured data.

First of all, what even is structured data?

In a nutshell, structured data helps Google understand the content of a webpage better.

Structured data is, in essence, code that is placed into your HTML page to help Google better display results related to that content.

For instance, a recipe page will use code that identifies all the different elements – recipe name, ingredients, instructions, cooking times and so forth.

This makes it easier for search users to find the right content – it creates a rich snippet that can be viewed on Google without having to even go onto your page.

Wait, search users don’t need to visit webpages now?

Technically, yes, this is one of the biggest things about structured data.

Rich snippets will appear on Google Search and can provide information to customers without them clicking through to your page.

So, if you run an online book shop, instead of search users clicking through to your site, they can purchase directly from the Google search page.

Structured data has its benefits. It helps Google understand the content of your website better. This will improve your rankings.

That said, it also suggests that there is a risk that you won’t earn a site clickthrough. Search users are able to find relevant content without clicking through to a website. Web traffic could drop as a result.

Of course, like everything with Google, there is no promise your site will rank higher even if you do use structured data.

What are the latest structured data updates then?

In May 2019, Google launched two new structured data updates.

The first is for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and the second is for How-To content.

Both types of content are now supported by structured data, which allows rich snippets to appear on Google search and using Google Assistant.

This means you can now tell Google that content on a specific page is either ‘How-To’ content or a ‘FAQ’.

Here’s how “How-To” content will now appear on Google using structured data:

While this is how “FAQs” may appear on Google Search:

What does this mean for your website?

Simply put, it has become a lot easier to share your FAQs and How-To content with search users.

That helps Google rank your site better and make your content more accessible to those looking for answers.

At the same time, there is also a chance that search users won’t need to clickthrough to your website for that information now.

It’s a double-edge sword that’s worth being vigilant about.

Speak to Dorset Tech if you’d like to know more.

Andrew W "Hamelin"

Named after the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Andrew is a master of communication. He can construct expert blogs and clever social media campaigns.

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