Are you using Article structured data markup in your content? If so, then you’ll be happy to learn that Google’s Rich Results Test tool will now validate it.
Yes, you can test it out right now. Or you can read more about it here.
What Is Structured Data?
If you’re a bit new to SEO, you might not even know about Article markup. In fact, you might not even know about structured data in general.
Here’s the announcement from Google on Twitter: “We are happy to announce support for Article structured data in the Rich Results Test tool. Read more about the markup in our developer documentation or test your pages at https://goo.gle/richresults.”
Structured data is a way to identify info about the content on your website. As the name “markup” implies, it’s often done with code that looks a lot like HTML.
You can learn more about structured data by visiting the schema.org website.
If you browse through that site, you’ll see that structured data can tell search engines about more than just the content you post online. It can also describe your business.
In fact, you need to use markup to describe your company if you want to rank in local search.
The LocalBusiness item type reveals everything about your organization from the currencies you accept to your hours of operation and your physical address.
Since customers often need that kind of info when making decisions, Google’s search bot parses that markup and uses the info to rank local businesses.
Article Structured Data
So what is Article structured data? It’s data you use to provide more info about your online articles. It’s a good idea to use it if you’re doing content marketing to get more customers to your website.
Here’s just a sample of the info you can provide with Article markup:
- backstory – a summary that explains why you wrote the article in the first place
- speakable – an indication that the marked-up content works well for text-to-speech conversion tools
- wordCount – the total number of words in the article
- accountablePerson – the name of the person who’s legally accountable for the contents of the article
- aggregateRating – the average rating of the content from reviews/ratings
- alternativeHeadline – an additional title of the article
- audience – the intended audience for the article
- award – an award won by the article
- datePublished – the date that the article was published
As you can see from the brief list above, most markup is intuitive. That is, you can read it and understand what it means at face value.
And that’s one of the beautiful things about markup: it’s readable by humans and computers alike. That means the learning curve is fairly short when it comes to understanding the vocabulary.
However, it’s still code. If you’re not much of a tech geek, it’s best to leave markup-related tasks to your development team.
AMP vs Non-AMP Article Structured Data
There are two types of Article markup implementation: AMP with structured Data or Non-AMP with structured data.
The AMP pages will display the Article markup in a carousel format, like the example to the left.
Non-AMP Article structured data can be shown in two ways. Either they will appear as a rich result in the SERP with a headline and image, or in a carousel.
Benefits of the Rich Results Test Tool
So why would you use the Rich Results Test tool with your Article structured data?
The answer is simple: to make sure that you didn’t mess up.
If you did, the tool will let you know that you messed up. Even better: it will tell you what you need to fix.
Then, once you get your structured data house in order, some of that content might be eligible for rich results in search. That means you could land more visitors as your website stands out from the crowd of blue-liners.
Wrapping It Up
If you’re not using Article markup in your content marketing, make it a point to start this week.
Then, use Google’s Rich Results test tool to validate your markup.