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Google's Next Steps To Build Structured Data Buy-In

By   /  May 31, 2013  /  No Comments

Google’s Data Highlighter, its take at making it easier to let the search engine know about the structured data behind web pages, is adding more highlights. Data Highlighter (which The Semantic Web Blog originally covered here) now can teach Google the pattern of structured data about products, local businesses, articles, software applications, movies, restaurants, and TV episodes in addition to events.

The data webmasters tag with Data Highlighter is a subset of the properties in the schema.org schema.


Titles, directors, screenplay writers (the last corresponding to the author property in the schema.org/Movie schema), for example, can be tagged up for Movies data, or addresses, phone numbers and business hours in the Local Businesses data, for the search engine to better feature in Knowledge Graph panels or Google Now cards.

Google says the tagging process takes about 5 minutes for a single page, or about 15 minutes for a pattern of consistently formatted pages. As a site is recrawled over time, it will become eligible for enhanced displays of its information, from prices to ratings, in Google search results.

That’s fine for getting started with structured data without having to edit a site’s HTML, but Google is hoping that another addition – its new Structured Data Markup Helper – will get more webmasters onboard with embeddingstructured data markup directly into their web pages, to make the structured content available to all. It supports a subset of data types, including all the types supported by Data Highlighter as well as several types used for embedding structured data in Gmail.

he way it works, as described by product manager Justin Boyan in an email alert, is that users tag the key properties of relevant data types on a web page, and then the Structured Data Markup Helper goes to work to generate sample HTML code with microdata markup included. This code can be downloaded and used as a guide for webmasters to implement structured data on their websites.


About the author

Jennifer Zaino is a New York-based freelance writer specializing in business and technology journalism. She has been an executive editor at leading technology publications, including InformationWeek, where she spearheaded an award-winning news section, and Network Computing, where she helped develop online content strategies including review exclusives and analyst reports. Her freelance credentials include being a regular contributor of original content to The Semantic Web Blog; acting as a contributing writer to RFID Journal; and serving as executive editor at the Smart Architect Smart Enterprise Exchange group. Her work also has appeared in publications and on web sites including EdTech (K-12 and Higher Ed), Ingram Micro Channel Advisor, The CMO Site, and Federal Computer Week.

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