A common complaint about adding microdata (from non-coders) is that it’s difficult to implement on websites. Luckily, there’s an easy alternative now! Google’s Data Highlighter tool makes it easy to showcase structured data on your website without making any HTML changes to your site. We’ve talked about implementing markup in the past, but Google makes it even easier to do now. You won’t even have to have knowledge of coding or go into the back end of your site to add tedious code.
Check out the video above to see what the tool can help with. It’s currently able to highlight these 8 types of data:
Some other things to note:
– You can highlight data for one page or a series of related pages. Once you publish your highlights, you are also able to remove them and make changes when necessary.
– If you already have existing markup like schema.org code on your site, it might not be a good idea to use the data highlighter tool in addition to that. The microdata will already be telling Google one thing and the highlights could be saying a different thing, especially if the data you choose doesn’t match up.
– Instead, it might be a better idea to test different sites (or pages) to see which shows up more consistently in search results: 1) using only the Data Highlighter tool 2) using microdata markup like hReview or schema.org
– Don’t spam the tool! Some people might try to use the tool even though their site isn’t relevant to any 1 of the 8 categories. Label everything correctly and as it belongs. As you would expect, Google highly advises against using the tool to do otherwise.
– This point and click way of highlighting structured data is like a short cut to doing it the “old-fashioned” way and the benefits are ease and amount of time that it takes to do it. Some downsides are that the highlights are only seen by Google and some developers might feel better with the data hard-coded onto their website.
If you’d like to give this tool a spin, it won’t hurt to try. Especially if you currently don’t have any rich snippets showing up in search results. Just make sure to follow instructions carefully/correctly and fill out everything thoroughly. For more questions about how the Data Highlighter tool and structured data can help your website, contact us today.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.