Build, Test, and Release Your Structured Data

 

Create new pages

Here is our recommended process for creating new structured data pages:

  1. Follow the structured data guidelines for your page and feature type. For example, if your page is a recipe, be sure to follow the technical guidelines for Recipes.
  2. Validate your code using the Structured Data Testing Tool. Paste your code into the tool and click the validate button.
    Tip: For some result types, the Structured Data Testing Tool lets you generate a sample view of a result from your data. For those types, after you click "validate" on the tool, if the code is valid you will see a "Preview" button, which will generate a sample search result display based on your data.
  3. Deploy a few pages using your structured data and use Fetch as Google to test how Google sees the page. Be sure that your page is accessible to Google and not blocked by robots, noindex, or login requirements. If the page looks okay, use that tool to request an index of the page. Read here to find out how to test a page hosted on a local server or behind a firewall.
  4. After Google has indexed the page, look for errors and properly processed data using the Rich Cards report (supports a subset of structured data types) or the Structured Data report in Search Console. Ideally you should see an increase of cards or structured data types and no increase in error rates.
    • If you see your structured data being crawled without errors, update your sitemap to have Google crawl those pages regularly.
    • If you find problems in your structured data, fix it, retest on Fetch as Google, and request another index until everything looks good in the reports. Then deploy the rest of your pages.
  5. Monitor your error rates periodically using the Rich Cards or Structured Data report, especially after releasing new templates or updating your code.

Fix existing pages

  1. Sign up as a verified site owner of your site in Search Console. If Search Console notices any dramatic changes in error rates, you might be notified by email about the change.
  2. Periodically monitor your pages using the Rich Cards report (supports a subset of structured data types) or the Structured Data report in Search Console. Here are some common reasons for errors:
    • If you see an increase in errors, perhaps you rolled out a new template that doesn't work, or your site interacts with the existing template in a new and bad way.
    • If you see a total decrease in structured data, check whether the sudden decrease in indexed structured data is matched by an increase in errors. If not, perhaps you are no longer embedding structured data in your pages, or the pages are inaccessible to Google (perhaps pages are blocked by robots.txt or noindex). Test page availability using the Fetch as Google tool.
    Drilling into a specific error in the Rich Cards report should provide information about the error. Drilling into a specific page in the Structured Data report should provide a link to test a single page using the Structured Data Testing Tool.
  3. Fix your code and test it using the Structured Data Testing Tool. Read here to find out how to test a page hosted on a local server or behind a firewall.
  4. Roll out your fix and wait for Google to recrawl your page. Remember that this can take a few days.

Fix pages with manual actions

If you have a structured data manual action against your page, the structured data on the page will be ignored (although the page can still appear in Google Search results).

Verified site owners in Search Console receive an email message when their site is affected by a manual action. You can open the Manual Actions page in Search Console to see any manual actions affecting your site.

To diagnose and fix your code:

  1. Open the Manual Actions page for your site.
  2. Expand the Site-wide matches and Partial matches sections, if they are collapsed, and look for any structured data issues.
  3. Determine which pages and which rich result types are affected.
    • For partial matches (actions that affect only part of your site), you should see the URLs of some example pages that are non-compliant.
    • For issues that affect the entire site, you won't see URLs for example pages, so you will have to do some detective work to determine the cause of the failure. Look into recent changes in your templates as a clue to what changed recently and might be triggering the action.
  4. Read all the guidelines (very carefully!) for each rich result type affected by the action to find which guideline you are not compliant with: The problem can be caused by either spammy content or spammy markup usage. However, the issue is not syntax, and so a markup validator won't be able to identify these issues.
  5. Fix the issue and republish your pages.
  6. Submit a reconsideration request in the Manual Actions page for each specific manual action. Do not submit a reconsideration request unless you think the issue is fixed; filing multiple reconsideration requests on unfixed content can negatively affect the page review time.
  7. Wait for the results of the request, which can take several days (more than 3). You will get either a confirmation that you fixed the issue, or a notice that the problem was not fixed.

Common structured data errors

Here are some common causes of structured data manual actions.

Affected types Description
All items

The information in the structured data is not shown in the user-visible text. For example, review stars are in the structured data but not on the page. This would cause the stars to appear only in Search results, but not on the page. This often occurs with Products or Reviews.

Relevant guidelines:

Event
  • A page is using event markup but there is no visible event content on the page.
  • The visible text or description in markup is more concerned with promoting/selling the event than describing what it is.

Relevant guidelines:

Job
  • Job markup used, but no job related content on the page
  • No way to apply for the job
  • Job markup doesn't match the user-visible job description
  • Payment required to apply, or the job seems to be fake
  • Misleading job documentation

Relevant guidelines:

List items

Don't treat a list of items (of any type) as a single item when assigning item properties. For example, do not assign a single review rating or location to a list of items; instead you should apply individual attributes to each item in the list. Don't treat lists of "hotels in Madrid," "summer dresses," or "cake recipes" as a single items.

Relevant guidelines:

Product

The name of the product must be 1) The name of the product itself, not the name of the manufacturing or selling company, and 2) A real product name, not a description. Examples of invalid product names: "Android Phones", " "Nexus Phones," or "Top-Selling Nexus Phones". Example of a valid product name: "Nexus 5X".

Relevant guidelines:

Product, Review

A review is written by the site or person providing the product or service, rather than a customer or independent, unpaid reviewer.

Relevant guidelines:

Product, Review

Reviews are shown on the page without a mechanism for readers to submit their own reviews. Exception: A page can offer a single review without a mechanism to submit reviews when it is clearly indicated who the author is (and the reviewer cannot be the one making the product). For example, an art dealer can offer a review of the Mona Lisa for sale on his website; however, Leonardo DaVinci could not offer a review of the Mona Lisa for sale on his own website (even if he provided a mechanism for users to submit other reviews).

Relevant guidelines:

Review

The review rating assigned is the average of all items on the page or list, rather than the value for that specific item. Review ratings must be targeted to a single item.

Relevant guidelines:

Recipe

A page using recipe markup isn't about recipes.

Relevant guidelines:

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