Structured Data Guidelines
Make sure you follow these structured data guidelines for best results and for Google and other search engines to pick up your page snippet and show the rich snippets in SERPs.
Important: There is no guarantee that Google will show your structured data results in SERP (search results) even if it is marked up correctly as per the Google Structured Data Testing Tool. Here are some common reasons why:
If you add structured data you request Google to show a feature in search results but it completely depends on search engine to display it. The Google algorithm picks best fit web pages and web page content to show up in search results for best user search experience. This depends on many factors like user’s search history, your search location, and device type. Search algorithm determines the best feature to show over several other features described, using structured data type. You will find Google showing plain blue link many times.
Your web page structured data might not show in SERP if the web page content is misleading.
The structured data is not correct, but the tool was not able to pick up.
Different content is referred by the structured data, but the data is not shown to the user.
The page does not meet structured data guidelines; these may be type specific guidelines or webmaster guidelines.
Technical Guidelines for Structured Data Implementation
Do not block the web page content from Google bots using any access control methods. Also, you need to use Google supported structured data formats: JSON-LD (recommended), Microdata and RDFa.
Quality Guidelines for Structured Data Implementation
Content Guidelines for Structured Data Implementation
Follow the Google webmasters quality guidelines
Do not mark content that is not visible to users
Do not mark content not relevant to the page theme
Content should not promote any prohibited content
Only relevant content should be marked. If your page is about a product, do not markup travel content.
Completeness is recommended, the more properties you markup, higher the chances of appearing in search results.
For duplicate pages with canonical, structured data should also be implemented
Don't mark up a page that lists multiple items with links to individual pages. Example: Don't mark up a page that lists all accountant jobs in Uxbridge, London, with links to individual job pages.
Try to use the most specific applicable type and property names
All image URLs must be crawlable and indexable
When specifying an image as a structured data property, make sure that the image actually belongs to the type it is mapped to.
Unless this is a carousel page, the marked items should not link out to separate details pages
Multiple structured data objects can be included on a single page
Multiple elements on a page should be marked up unless it is a carousel
What are Rich Snippets?
Rich snippets are augmented search results displayed by search engines on their results page. As opposed to general organic results, they have stronger visual appeal. They are described using structured data that are implemented on a website by the site webmaster/owner. As these are highlighted, they come with enriched organic results.
Here are a few of the most popular rich snippets:
Steps for Creating JSON-LD Schema Code and Implementing it
Choose the right structured data type paged on your page content/ theme and follow the structured guidelines based on your page and feature type
Validate your code in structured data testing tool
Use fetch as Google to see how Google sees your page. Make sure your page is accessible to Google and search engines. Use Search console tool to request to index the pag
Make sure you check structured data status report/ rich cards results’ report to see if your page structured data is recognized by google. Fix the errors highlighted.
In case, you are facing issue or find any errors, check this list with common structured data errors and how-to fix it .
Further, in this article we will discuss JSON-LD as this is the recommended format by Google.
What is JSON-LD?
JSON-LD method helps encoding linked data using JSON. Like Microdata and RDFs formats, the traditional methods of structuring data, JSON-LD format also helps use schema vocabulary in the best possible way. Schema.org is data vocabulary of web, a unified vocabulary created by Google, Bing and Yandex for structuring data using formats such as RDFs, Microformats, Microdata, JSON, JSON-LD. These help search engines deliver/ show search result with rich snippets. These structured data formats organize the data online to provide a meaning and connect related data together for creating a better, easy to understand web.
What are the features of JSON-LD?
JSON-LD uses JSON notation
Uses structured data or linked data vocabularies for communication information to search engines
It is light-weight and data interchange format makes it easily acceptable
It is WC3 standard website method of structured markup implementation
It uses name-value (attribute-value) pairs
Simple compared to other methods, easiest of all methods to add website meta data
Less prone to human errors as is added to head of HTML, does not entangle with HTML codes
JSON-LD can also be added in the content as Google can read the dynamically generated tags in DOM
JSON-LD provides a standard way (generalized solutions) to add semantic context to the existing JSON data structure for the purpose of upgrading the interoperability between APIs Example of successful implementation : MyGene.info, MyVariant.info and MyChem.info
Schema is a vocabulary for implementing structured data using JSON-LD, Microdata or RDFs. This should answer the question Is JSON-LD and Schema same? JSON-LD Vs Schema?
List JSON-LD Best Practices