Confused about JSON-LD? You’re not alone.
This little acronym plays a pretty major role in Google’s ability to index your content.
In this article, I’ll explain what it is, why it’s important, and how you can use it.
What Is JSON-LD Code?
In simpler terms, it delivers more easily indexable content to search crawlers like Googlebot.
Unlike microdata, RDF, or micro formats, JSON-LD is embeddable in a <script> in the page’s <head> and just about anywhere else instead of having to be present in the page’s <body>.
JSON-LD offers syntactic simplicity found with the traditional JSON, but offers more inherit meaning. As a result, Google, Bing, and Yandex are all embracing JSON-LD because the structured data allows developers to easily organize and connect data. This creates a better website in the eyes’ of humans and Google.
The light-weight data format will enhance a website’s performance as all data is seamlessly linked across the internet.
Why is JSON-LD important?
JSON-LD harnesses more power for people who publish and access information on the internet. It’s simpler for people to read and write by creating a network of standards for machine-readable data from websites to promote the indexing process.
Think of it as a spider web of sorts. An application begins at one piece of Linked Data and then is followed to other pieces of Linked Data from embedded links that are hosted on different websites to promote search results.
“High quality structured data must not create a misleading or deceptive experience for search users,” says Google. “It should be an accurate reflection of the topic and content already found on the page, such as text, images, and videos.”
With the foundation of the existing JSON format, developers are able to easily transform their current JSON to JSON-LD to better describe the content of their website to search engines. Search engines are then able to more effectively understand your webpages to feature your content more relevantly through simplified web development.
What’s the difference between JSON-LD and JSON?
JSON-LD is very similar to the traditional JSON, but it offers a few more benefits that are directly derived from schema.org compatibility.
If this all sounds like too much “geek speak” for you, then it’s probably best to outsource your JSON-LD efforts to a qualified web developer. Otherwise, you could do more harm than good to your website.
JSON SEO allows you to provide more in-depth and consistent web components. The data is better absorbed by search engines to improve page indexing, which may result in search results displaying rich snippets.
Since schema.org basically does the hard work for you, there’s no need to learn a new structure. Instead, you’re able to build a more complex system using compatible web components to create developer and search engine-friendly data.
How does JSON-LD work?
Now that I’ve answered the question “What is JSON-LD?”, let’s take a look at how it works.
The data from your webpage is used in a structured means with schema.org vocabulary that has been imbedded into your webpages with a JSON-LD snippet. When combined with custom Web Components to define a distinctive aspect of the user interface and a Custom Element to define the behavior of your Web Component, you’re able to share and reuse across other webpages to simplify website development.
However, Google offers a word of warning, saying, “In general, Google won’t display any content in rich snippets that is not visible to human users. Google will ignore content that isn’t visible to human users, so you should mark up the text that visitors will see on your webpages.”
Since Web Components and JSON-LD for SEO compliment one another, the Custom Element functions work as the presentation layer while the JSON-LD functions work as the data layer. So, human visitors will easily view your information while Googlebots are better able to retrieve information for indexing.
You can think of JSON-LD as metadata. In other words, it’s data about data.
In the case of your web page, the JSON-LD code tells Googlebot a little more info about the contents of your web page. That way, the search algorithm will know when to surface it in response to a specific user query.
What changes will I see?
Google supports JSON-LD syntax for company logos, contacts, social profile links, events in Knowledge Graph, event rich snippets, and site link search boxes. The compatibility of Knowledge Graph is one of the most anticipated results of Google’s endorsement.
With the new structured markup, you’re able to alert Google to the types of content on your site, then direct Google where to take the internet user when they perform a search. This is very beneficial for featuring events in the knowledge graph because you can promote ticket sales and location-based events easier and more effectively.
In addition, businesses can use the structured data to markup and modify how social networks are displayed in the knowledge box. Google will now recognize other social profiles other than Google+ when you publish a markup on a page within your website that’s unblocked by Googlebots. However, be sue to include a person or organization in the markup by specifying your website’s URL or the URLs of your social media profiles. Then, insert the script anywhere on your page for Google to start indexing and displaying your profiles in the search results.
Google is working to support other features in the future as development grows.
JSON-LD: Testing Your Structured Data
To test how if your structured data is effective, use Google’s Structured Data Testing tool to help your content get discovered higher in search results.
You can also take a look at Google’s in-depth documentation on structured data for more information and a thorough guide to enabling it.
Wrapping Up JSON-LD
JSON-LD is just another reason the world of SEO is diversifying to promote the search experience for internet users as search engines provide more relevant results. From a business stand point, you’re able to leverage JSON-LD in your favor to paint a clearer picture of your site’s content to allow Google to more relevantly index your content to increase visibility. It’s a simple and effective means to boost your ranking by transitioning your existing data.
Now is the time to start linking your data with JSON-LD for better indexing with the next generation of search engine communication tools.