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Google: Stick to structured data guidelines if you want the rich result

“In order to be eligible to be shown as a rich result, you need to make sure that the page uses the right structured data and that it complies with the appropriate policies on our side,” said Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller on the October 9 edition of #AskGoogleWebmasters.

The question. “We need to use structured data as per the Google Developers site (including required/recommended properties) or can we use more properties from Schema.org apart from the Developers site?” asked user @abhikasaudhan via Twitter.

The answer. As mentioned above, you need to use structured data as specified in the Google Developer documentation to be eligible to be shown as a rich result. “Keep in mind that it’s not guaranteed for us to show these rich results just because a page uses the appropriate structured data,” Mueller also said.

Google supports three structured data formats (JSON-LD, Microdata and RDFa) as well as nearly 30 rich results types.

The ways Google uses structured data. Structured data is used by Google to display rich results and better understand the web page itself.

“Even without the structured data leading to rich results, our systems profit by understanding the pages better when they use structured data,” Mueller said.

Why we should care. If your goal is to increase visibility on the search results page through rich results, then you must adhere to Google’s guidelines.

“Independently, you’re always welcome to use structured data to provide better machine-readable context for your pages,” Mueller said, addressing another potential advantage of implementing structured data, “which may not always result in visible changes, but can still help our systems show your pages for relevant queries.”

Learn more about structured data. Here are some more useful resources to inform your structured data strategy.

About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine.

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