Where to Use Structured Data and What to Use?

Wakas Javed
John Mueller

John Mueller of Google offers suggestions for choosing structured data.

John Mueller, Google Search Advocate, answered two questions about structured data in a recent Google Search Central SEO Center in a video.

While the first question is specific to the medical niche, the answers are useful and applicable to sites in any niche.

Mueller also explains how to use Google’s developer help pages to find out which structured data is best to use.

How To Choose Structured Data For A Website?

The question was asked about how to choose structured data and what will be its effect.

Mueller answered it’s not about what structured data matches a page. Perhaps, the option is about what type of rich result available for that page.

Structured data is highly extensible. Therefore, the website Schehma.org offers an ever-growing list of different types of structured data that fits almost any web page.

However, Google only uses small portion of the available structured data for the purpose of generating search results such as star ratings, images in search results, etc.

The Google Structured Data page describes the following:

“Google search works hard to understand the content of the page.

You can help us by providing explicit instructions about the importance of a page to Google by including structured data on the page. Structured data is a standard format for providing page information and classifying page content; e.g. on the recipe page, what are the ingredients, cooking time and temperature, calories, etc.

Google uses the structured data it finds on the web to understand page content and gather information about the web and the world at large.”

And from that direction came from Mueller’s response.

These are the questions asked:

“How does the scheme affect a dedicated medical website? What type of structured data should be used there?”

Muller replied:

” So, I would primarily… when it comes to structured data, I’m going to focus more on the stuff we’ve documented in our developer documentation and the specific features that come with it.

So instead of saying what type of structured data should I use for this type of website, am I going to flip things around and say what kinds of visible attributes I want to find in search results?”

Google Structured Data Lists With Rich Results Features

Google has a page that lists rich results that can be displayed for different types of pages.

The list of structured data that can be used to generate rich results is arranged alphabetically, starting with article structured data and ending with video structured data.

structured-data-resource-SEI

This page, powered by Google, is one of the best resources to help publishers and SEOs identify the right structured data.

Does Each Page Need Structured Data?

The next question is whether every page of a website needs structured data.

In general, there is some smaller structured data, such as: Breadcrumb navigation is useful for almost every page of a website.

Breadcrumbs are an easy win when it comes to SEO and structured data. They help create improved listings in Google search results.

While navigation crumbs may seem trivial, once websites start ranking, they can come in handy.

Google says the following about breadcrumb structured data:

“Breadcrumb trails indicate the page’s position in the site hierarchy and can help users understand and explore the site efficiently. Users can navigate through the site hierarchy level by level, starting with the last breadcrumb in the Breadcrumb Path.

Google Search uses breadcrumb markup in the body of web pages to categorize page information in search results. As the use case below demonstrates, users can often reach a page through different types of search queries. While each search may return the same web page, breadcrumbs categorize content in the context of a Google search query.”

But beyond that, Mueller’s suggestion of considering which rich results are appropriate for a particular page is a good start.

Here is the question:

“Does each page need schema or structured data?”

Muller replies:

“No, definitely not.

As I mentioned earlier, use the guides for the visual elements I want to appear on my page, and then find the right structured data for those elements.

Definitely not the case, like you have to put structured data on every page.”


Source: Google Search Central

Featured Image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral

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