Latest documentation updates

This page details the major updates made to the Google Search Central documentation.

June 2021

  • June 18: Based on feedback we've received from Search Central Product Experts and through the feedback tool, we've made several updates to our documentation:
    • Simplified the introduction page to make it clearer what is robots.txt and what is its intended use.
    • Expanded the instructions about creating and updating robots.txt files.
    • Removed redundant sections from our documentation about how Google handles robots.txt.
    • Simplified sentences across all robots.txt documentation in English. This helps with localization.
    • Removed redundant documentation about how to build, test, and release structured data. Each feature has guidance about this, embedded directly into each guide (for example, the Video structured data guide.
    • Improved the troubleshooting sections across all structured data feature guides (for example, the Product structure data guide.
    • Added more beginner-friendly information about how to get started with structured data.
  • June 15: Updated the timeline in the page experience documentation. The page experience update is now slowly rolling out to all users. It will be complete by the end of August 2021.
  • June 11:
    • Clarified the Sitelinks search box documentation to explain the more standard and explicit form for specifying the search box urlTemplate. Google will still accept the shorthand form as noted.
    • Added a new optional property to the Dataset documentation: funder.
  • June 10: Deprecated the critic review documentation. We initially tested critic review markup with a group of site owners, and ultimately found that it wasn't useful for the ecosystem at scale. This deprecation doesn't affect any other features on Google Search that use review markup. Feel free to leave the markup on your site so that search engines can better understand your web page.
  • June 8: Added BackOrder as an allowed value for the availability property in Product structured data.
  • June 4: Added gtin as an allowed identifier and clarified how to correctly use isbn for Product structured data.
  • June 3: Added support for the inLanguage property to the Math solvers documentation.
  • June 1:

May 2021

April 2021

  • April 19: Added new documentation for how to Get started with signed exchanges on Google Search. Learn more about the signed exchange (SXG) announcement in our blog post.
  • April 8: Added a new quality guideline to the Discover documentation. Discover focuses on interest-based feeds (for example, articles and videos), and filters out content that might confuse readers (for example, Discover might not recommend job applications, petitions, forms, code repositories, or satirical content that's removed from its original context).
  • April 7: Updated the Video structured data documentation to state that the thumbnailUrl property must use one of the supported Google Images file formats. Previously, the documentation didn't include WebP and SVG.
  • April 1: Clarified the key moments feature. Google Search tries to automatically detect the segments in your video and show key moments to users, without any effort on your part. Alternatively, there are two ways that you can manually tell Google which timestamp and label to use: Clip structured data and updating the description of a YouTube video.

March 2021

  • March 29: Removed the interest form for the Key moments feature. The feature remains in development with a select group of providers, but the program is no longer accepting submissions.
  • March 25: Added new structured data documentation for practice problems and math solvers.
  • March 24:
  • March 17: Updated the video best practices to more clearly emphasize the important guidelines. Removed duplicate content and updated the screenshots.
  • March 16: Based on user feedback, we added more examples for the max-snippet meta robots directive, and also specified for each tag what Google's default behavior is when the tags are omitted.
  • March 11: Added new beta properties to the JobPosting structured data documentation. You may not see any appearance or effect in Google Search right away, as we are still developing how we are using this information.
    • educationRequirements.credentialCategory
    • experienceRequirements
    • experienceRequirements.monthsOfExperience
    • experienceInPlaceOfEducation
  • March 8: Added the JP_E-CODE value as an accepted value for the PropertyValue property in the Book documentation.
  • March 1: Removed instructions for submitting sitemaps on Google Sites from the sitemap guide. Google Sites doesn't create a sitemap for sites anymore.

February 2021

  • February 8: Removed the page about joining the 3D and AR Early Adopters Program. The feature remains in development with a select group of providers, but the program is no longer accepting submissions.
  • February 2: Removed the documentation for cross-language search results. This page was specific to an experimental approach with a small group of providers, and we're removing the page because it's obsolete.

January 2021

December 2020

November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

  • July 24: Added new episodes to the Search Off the Record podcast page.
  • July 23: Clarified that Google Search is still working on way to display multiple fact checks for a single page, and that you may not see a rich result that features multiple fact checks in Google Search right away.
  • July 21: Added a new optional property to the Dataset documentation, measurementTechnique, and clarified that the name property should be unique for distinct datasets.
  • July 20: Added the reviewCount property to the EmployerAggregateRating documentation, to match the existing requirements in the Rich Results Test. Either reviewCount or ratingCount is required.
  • July 16:
  • July 8: Clarified that Google Search understands when you specify multiple items on a page with structured data, whether you nest the items or specify each item individually.
  • July 1: Clarified in the AMP logo guidelines in the Article documentation that the logo can be in any format supported by Google Images.

June 2020

  • June 30: Added more examples to the Carousel documentation, and clarified the supported types and how to add them.
  • June 23: Added a note to differentiate between guidelines applicable to Article AMP logo guidelines and generic Logo guidelines.
  • June 19: Added a contentUrl requirement to the Image License documentation to make it clear that the feature needs a specific image URL to apply the license to.
  • June 16: Added native lazy-loading to the lazy-loading guide.
  • June 15: Added monitoring rich results video and more detailed information on using Search Console to monitor rich results to structured data reference pages (for example Product, Recipe, FAQ).
  • June 12: Added .webp, too, to the list of supported image file formats for Logo structured data.
  • June 10: Added .svg to the list of supported image file formats for Logo structured data.
  • June 8: Clarified that the recognized values for an applicationCategory on a Software App are of type Text.
  • June 4: Clarified in the Sitelinks search box documentation that the search query parameter key can be any string permitted by RFC 3986; it doesn't have to be q.

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020