Google SEO Update 2023 November 27

Discussion forum (DiscussionForumPosting) structured data

An illustration of the discussions and forums feature

Discussion forum markup is designed for any forum-style site where people collectively share first-hand perspectives. When forum sites add this markup, Google Search can better identify online discussions across the web and make use of this markup in features such as Discussions and Forums and Perspectives.

In general, we recommend nesting comments under the post they relate to. If the forum has its own threading structure, use a tree of comments to represent its structure:

{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "DiscussionForumPosting",
  "headline": "Very Popular Thread",
  ...
  "comment": [{
    "@type": "Comment",
    "text": "This should not be this popular",
    ...
    "comment": [{
      "@type": "Comment",
      "text": "Yes it should",
      ...
    }]
  }]
}

If it’s more linear in nature (for example, an original post followed by a series of replies), nest them all under the original post as comments. Ideally, later pages of content in multi-page forums include the original post with the main page URL:

{
  // JSON-LD on non-threaded forum at https://example.com/post/very-popular-thread/14
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "DiscussionForumPosting",
  "headline": "Very Popular Thread", // Only the headline/topic is explicitly present
  "url": "https://example.com/post/very-popular-thread",
  ...
  "comment": [{
    "@type": "Comment",
    "text": "First Post on this Page",
    ...
  },{
    "@type": "Comment",
    "text": "Second Post on this Page",
    ...
  }]
}

If the URL is primarily about a single post, use mainEntity (or mainEntityOfPage) to identify the primary DiscussionForumPosting:

{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "WebPage",
  "url": "https://example.com/post/very-popular-thread",
  "mainEntity": {
    "@type": "DiscussionForumPosting"
    ...
  }
}

For web pages that have a list of posts (for example, on a profile, topic, or category page), it’s common that they don’t have all the information present on the same page and require the user to click to get the extra information (like replies). It’s up to you whether you choose to include only the information that is present on the page (and include the URL to the discussion-specific posting).

Don’t mark one post on the page as a main entity if it’s not a discussion page for the post. To show that pages are a related set of posts, it might be useful to attach them all to a Collection or ItemList .

Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content. If you’re new to structured data, you can learn more about how structured data works.

Here’s an overview of how to build, test, and release structured data. For a step-by-step guide on how to add structured data to a web page, check out the structured data codelab.

  1. Add the required properties. Based on the format you’re using, learn where to insert structured data on the page.
  2. Follow the guidelines.
  3. Validate your code using the Rich Results Test and fix any critical errors. Consider also fixing any non-critical issues that may be flagged in the tool, as they can help improve the quality of your structured data (however, this isn’t necessary to be eligible for rich results).
  4. Deploy a few pages that include your structured data and use the URL Inspection tool to test how Google sees the page. Be sure that your page is accessible to Google and not blocked by a robots.txt file, the noindex tag, or login requirements. If the page looks okay, you can ask Google to recrawl your URLs.
  5. To keep Google informed of future changes, we recommend that you submit a sitemap. You can automate this with the Search Console Sitemap API.

The following markup example shows a non-threaded, linear forum page:

<html>
  <head>
    <title>I went to the concert!</title>
    <script type="application/ld+json">
    {
      "@context": "https://schema.org",
      "@type": "DiscussionForumPosting",
      "mainEntityOfPage": "https://example.com/post/very-popular-thread",
      "headline": "I went to the concert!",
      "text": "Look at how cool this concert was!",
      "video": {
        "@type": "VideoObject",
        "contentUrl": "https://example.com/media/super-cool-concert.mp4",
        "name": "Video of concert",
        "uploadDate": "2023-03-01T06:34:34+02:00",
        "thumbnailUrl": "https://example.com/media/super-cool-concert-snap.jpg"
      },
      "url": "https://example.com/post/very-popular-thread",
      "author": {
        "@type": "Person",
        "name": "Katie Pope",
        "url": "https://example.com/user/katie-pope",
        "agentInteractionStatistic": {
          "@type": "InteractionCounter",
          "interactionType": "https://schema.org/WriteAction",
          "userInteractionCount": 8
        }
      },
      "datePublished": "2023-03-01T08:34:34+02:00",
      "interactionStatistic": {
        "@type": "InteractionCounter",
        "interactionType": "https://schema.org/LikeAction",
        "userInteractionCount": 27
      },
      "comment": [{
        "@type": "Comment",
        "text": "Who's the person you're with?",
        "author": {
          "@type": "Person",
          "name": "Saul Douglas",
          "url": "https://example.com/user/saul-douglas",
          "agentInteractionStatistic": {
            "@type": "InteractionCounter",
            "interactionType": "https://schema.org/WriteAction",
            "userInteractionCount": 167
          }
        },
        "datePublished": "2023-03-01T09:46:02+02:00"
      },{
        "@type": "Comment",
        "text": "That's my mom, isn't she cool?",
        "author": {
          "@type": "Person",
          "name": "Katie Pope",
          "url": "https://example.com/user/katie-pope",
          "agentInteractionStatistic": {
            "@type": "InteractionCounter",
            "interactionType": "https://schema.org/WriteAction",
            "userInteractionCount": 8
          }
        },
        "datePublished": "2023-03-01T09:50:25+02:00",
        "interactionStatistic": {
          "@type": "InteractionCounter",
          "interactionType": "https://schema.org/LikeAction",
          "userInteractionCount": 7
        }
      }]
    }
  </script>
</head>
<body>
</body>
</html>

For your discussion forum structured data to be eligible for usage in Google Search, you must follow these guidelines:

  • Only use DiscussionForumPosting markup to describe a user-generated post on a website forum. Don’t use this markup for content that’s primarily authored by the publishers of the website or their agents.
  • While we encourage valid markup of other types (ArticleSocialMediaPostingVideoObject) that can use very similar markup with comments, author information, interaction statistics, those should not use DiscussionForumPosting markup. Here are some examples:Valid use cases:
    • A community forum page where users can talk about a certain game
    • A generic forum platform hosting a wide variety of subforum content

    Invalid use cases:

    • An article or blog written directly by an agent for the website (even with comments)
    • User reviews about a product
  • Note that for most of Google’s use cases, a Q&A page is considered a special case of a discussion forum page. If the structure of the forum website is primarily questions with answers, we recommend that you use Q&A markup instead. If the structure is more general and isn’t usually question and answer content, DiscussionForumPosting would be a better choice.
  • Make sure each DiscussionForumPosting includes the entire text of the post and make sure each Comment includes the entire text of the response if it’s found on that page.
  • Unlike our general structured data preference, we recommend providing the DiscussionForumPosting markup in Microdata (or RDFa) if possible. This prevents you from needing to duplicate large text blocks inside markup. However, this is just a recommendation, and JSON-LD is still fully supported.

This section describes the structured data types related to DiscussionForumPosting.

You must include the required properties for your content to be eligible for usage in Google Search. You can also include the recommended properties to add more information about your discussion forum pages, which could provide a better user experience.

The DiscussionForumPosting type defines an original posting that is the topic of discussion. While this type is generally composed of text, it’s possible to have a forum posting that only consists of media content.

Required properties

author

Person or OrganizationInformation about the author of the post. To help Google best understand authors across various features, we recommend following the author markup best practices.Include as many properties that make sense for the author, using the supported properties from article and profile page structured data as a guide.

author.name

TextThe name of the author of the post.

datePublished

DateTimeThe date and time the post was made in ISO 8601 format.
Either text or image or video To represent the content of the post, you must include one of the following properties:

This is not required if you are representing a post on another page (with an external url) as in later pages of forums or forum category pages.

Recommended properties

author.url

URLA link to a web page that uniquely identifies the author of the post, most likely a profile page of the forum. We recommend marking up that page using profile page structured data.
comment CommentA comment about or response to the post, if applicable. Mark up comments in the order in which they appear on the page.
creativeWorkStatus TextIf the post has been deleted but remains for context or threading, set this property to Deleted.
dateModified DateTimeThe date and time the post was edited in ISO 8601 format, if applicable. If no changes have happened, it’s not necessary to duplicate the publish date.

headline

TextThe title of the post. If there isn’t a separate title, don’t duplicate or truncate the text into a headline.
image ImageObject or URLAny inline images within the post, if applicable. If there are no images, don’t include default, icon, or placeholder images in this field.
interactionStatistic InteractionCounterUser statistics applied to the main post, if applicable.

 

Google supports the following interactionTypes:

isPartOf CreativeWork or URLThe primary source of the post if the post occurs on a particular part of the overall website. For example, a subforum or group within the broader website. If a CreativeWork (like WebPage) is used, use the url property to specify its URL.

sharedContent

CreativeWorkThe primary shared content in the post. The most common way this can be used is to share WebPages (with URLs) as a topical discussion, but images or videos can also be used with this property, particularly if they are the primary content of the comment.Here’s an example of how to add that there’s a link shared in the post:

  ...
  "sharedContent": { "@type": "WebPage", url: "https://example.com/external-url" }
  ...

 

text TextAny text in the post, if applicable. This is very common, but in some cases can be left out if there is other media in the post.

url

URLThe canonical URL of the discussion. In multi-page threads, set this property to th first page URL. For a single discussion, this is usually the current URL.
video VideoObjectAny inline videos within the post, if applicable.

The Comment type defines a comment on a original CreativeWork. In this case, this is a DiscussionForumPosting. It shares many of the same properties with our guidelines for DiscussionForumPosting.

Required properties

author

Person or OrganizationInformation about the author of the comment. To help Google best understand authors across various features, we recommend following the author markup best practices.Include as many properties that make sense for the author, using the supported properties from article and profile page structured data as a guide.

datePublished

DateTimeThe date and time the comment was made in ISO 8601 format. If no changes have happened, it’s not necessary to duplicate the publish date.

text

TextThe main text of the comment. Ideally, this field matches the text that’s present on the page in the comment.
Recommended properties

author.url

URLA link to a web page that uniquely identifies the author of the comment, most likely a profile page of the forum. We recommend marking up that page using profile page structured data.
comment CommentAnother comment about or in response to the comment, if applicable. Mark up the comments in the order in which they appear on the page.
creativeWorkStatus TextIf the comment has been deleted but remains for context or threading, set this property to Deleted.
dateModified DateTimeThe date and time the comment was last edited in ISO 8601 format, if applicable.
image ImageObject or URLAny inline images within the comment, if applicable. If there aren’t any images, don’t include default, icon, or placeholder images in this field.
interactionStatistic InteractionCounterUser statistics applied to the comment, if applicable.

 

Google supports the following interactionTypes:

sharedContent

CreativeWorkThe primary shared content in the comment. The most common way this can be used is to share WebPages (with URLs) as a topical discussion, but images or videos can also be used with this property particularly if they are the primary content of the comment.Here’s an example of how to add that there’s a link shared in the comment:

  ...
  "sharedContent": { "@type": "WebPage", url: "https://example.com/external-url" }
  ...

 

url

URLThe URL to this specific comment on the page. Don’t include this property if it’s just the URL of the original post.
video VideoObjectAny inline videos within the comment, if applicable.

The InteractionCounter allows a count to be associated with a certain type of interaction. This can be used on both content (DiscussionForumPosting and Comment) properties as well as author properties.

Required properties

userInteractionCount

IntegerThe number of times this interaction was performed.

interactionType

Subtype of ActionFor a list of valid Action subtypes for this property, check the property that’s using InteractionCounter (for example, interactionStatistic).

Search Console is a tool that helps you monitor how your pages perform in Google Search. You don’t have to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google Search results, but it can help you understand and improve how Google sees your site. We recommend checking Search Console in the following cases:

  1. After deploying structured data for the first time
  2. After releasing new templates or updating your code
  3. Analyzing traffic periodically

After Google has indexed your pages, look for issues using the relevant Rich result status report. Ideally, there will be an increase of valid items, and no increase in invalid items. If you find issues in your structured data:

  1. Fix the invalid items.
  2. Inspect a live URL to check if the issue persists.
  3. Request validation using the status report.

When you make significant changes to your website, monitor for increases in structured data invalid items.

  • If you see an increase in invalid items, 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 decrease in valid items (not matched by an increase in invalid items), perhaps you are no longer embedding structured data in your pages. Use the URL Inspection tool to learn what is causing the issue.

Analyze your Google Search traffic using the Performance Report. The data will show you how often your page appears as a rich result in Search, how often users click on it and what is the average position you appear on search results. You can also automatically pull these results with the Search Console API.

If you’re having trouble implementing or debugging structured data, here are some resources that may help you.

  • If you’re using a content management system (CMS) or someone else is taking care of your site, ask them to help you. Make sure to forward any Search Console message that details the issue to them.
  • Google does not guarantee that features that consume structured data will show up in search results. For a list of common reasons why Google may not show your content in a rich result, see the General Structured Data Guidelines.
  • You might have an error in your structured data. Check the list of structured data errors.
  • If you received 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). To fix structured data issues, use the Manual Actions report.
  • Review the guidelines again to identify if your content isn’t compliant with the guidelines. The problem can be caused by either spammy content or spammy markup usage. However, the issue may not be a syntax issue, and so the Rich Results Test won’t be able to identify these issues.
  • Troubleshoot missing rich results / drop in total rich results.
  • Allow time for re-crawling and re-indexing. Remember that it may take several days after publishing a page for Google to find and crawl it. For general questions about crawling and indexing, check the Google Search crawling and indexing FAQ.
  • Post a question in the Google Search Central forum.

Q&A (QAPage) structured data

An illustration of a question and answer rich result

Q&A pages are web pages that contain data in a question and answer format, which is one question followed by its answers. For content that represents a question and its answers, you can mark up your data with the schema.org QAPageQuestion, and Answer types.

Properly marked up pages are eligible to have a rich result displayed on the search results page. This rich treatment helps your site reach the right users on Search. For example, you might see a rich result for the user query “How do I remove a cable that is stuck in a USB port?” if the page has been marked up with answers to that question.

In addition to enabling your content for the rich result treatment, marking up your Q&A page helps Google generate a better snippet for your page. The content from the answers may appear in the basic result if the rich result is not shown.

Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content. If you’re new to structured data, you can learn more about how structured data works.

Here’s an overview of how to build, test, and release structured data. For a step-by-step guide on how to add structured data to a web page, check out the structured data codelab.

  1. Add the required properties. Based on the format you’re using, learn where to insert structured data on the page.
  2. Follow the guidelines.
  3. Validate your code using the Rich Results Test and fix any critical errors. Consider also fixing any non-critical issues that may be flagged in the tool, as they can help improve the quality of your structured data (however, this isn’t necessary to be eligible for rich results).
  4. Deploy a few pages that include your structured data and use the URL Inspection tool to test how Google sees the page. Be sure that your page is accessible to Google and not blocked by a robots.txt file, the noindex tag, or login requirements. If the page looks okay, you can ask Google to recrawl your URLs.
  5. To keep Google informed of future changes, we recommend that you submit a sitemap. You can automate this with the Search Console Sitemap API.

The following markup example includes the QAPageQuestion, and Answer type definitions in JSON-LD:

<html>
  <head>
    <title>How many ounces are there in a pound?</title>
    <script type="application/ld+json">
    {
      "@context": "https://schema.org",
      "@type": "QAPage",
      "mainEntity": {
        "@type": "Question",
        "name": "How many ounces are there in a pound?",
        "text": "I have taken up a new interest in baking and keep running across directions in ounces and pounds. I have to translate between them and was wondering how many ounces are in a pound?",
        "answerCount": 3,
        "upvoteCount": 26,
        "datePublished": "2021-02-14T15:34-05:00",
        "author": {
          "@type": "Person",
          "name": "Mary Stone",
          "url": "https://example.com/profiles/mary-stone"
        },
        "acceptedAnswer": {
          "@type": "Answer",
          "text": "1 pound (lb) is equal to 16 ounces (oz).",
          "image": "https://example.com/images/conversion-chart.jpg",
          "upvoteCount": 1337,
          "url": "https://example.com/question1#acceptedAnswer",
          "datePublished": "2021-02-14T16:34-05:00",
          "author": {
            "@type": "Person",
            "name": "Julius Fernandez",
            "url": "https://example.com/profiles/julius-fernandez"
          }
        },
        "suggestedAnswer": [
          {
            "@type": "Answer",
            "text": "Are you looking for ounces or fluid ounces? If you are looking for fluid ounces there are 15.34 fluid ounces in a pound of water.",
            "upvoteCount": 42,
            "url": "https://example.com/question1#suggestedAnswer1",
            "datePublished": "2021-02-14T15:39-05:00",
            "author": {
              "@type": "Person",
              "name": "Kara Weber",
              "url": "https://example.com/profiles/kara-weber"
            },
            "comment": {
              "@type": "Comment",
              "text": "I'm looking for ounces, not fluid ounces.",
              "datePublished": "2021-02-14T15:40-05:00",
              "author": {
                "@type": "Person",
                "name": "Mary Stone",
                "url": "https://example.com/profiles/mary-stone"
              }
            }
          }, {
            "@type": "Answer",
            "text": " I can't remember exactly, but I think 18 ounces in a lb. You might want to double check that.",
            "upvoteCount": 0,
            "url": "https://example.com/question1#suggestedAnswer2",
            "datePublished": "2021-02-14T16:02-05:00",
            "author": {
              "@type": "Person",
              "name": "Joe Cobb",
              "url": "https://example.com/profiles/joe-cobb"
            }
          }
        ]
      }
    }
    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
  </body>
</html>

For your Q&A page to be eligible for this rich treatment, you must follow these guidelines:

  • Only use the QAPage markup if your page has information in a question and answer format, which is one question followed by its answers.
  • Users must be able to submit answers to the question. Don’t use QAPage markup for content that has only one answer for a given question with no way for users to add alternative answers; instead, use FAQPage. Here are some examples:Valid use cases:
    • A forum page where users can submit answers to a single question
    • A product support page where users can submit answers to a single question

    Invalid use cases:

    • An FAQ page written by the site itself with no way for users to submit alternative answers
    • A product page where users can submit multiple questions and answers on a single page
    • A how-to guide that answers a question
    • A blog post that answers a question
    • An essay that answers a question
  • Don’t apply QAPage markup to all pages on a site or forum if not all the content is eligible. For example, a forum may have lots of questions posted, which are individually eligible for the markup. However, if the forum also has pages that are not questions, those pages are not eligible.
  • Don’t use QAPage markup for FAQ pages or pages where there are multiple questions per page. QAPage markup is for pages where the focus of the page is a single question and its answers.
  • Don’t use QAPage markup for advertising purposes.
  • Make sure each Question includes the entire text of the question and make sure each Answer includes the entire text of the answer.
  • Answer markup is for answers to the question, not for comments on the question or comments on other answers. Instead, use the comment property and Comment type for this type of content.
  • Question and answer content may not be displayed as a rich result if it contains any of the following types of content: obscene, profane, sexually explicit, graphically violent, promotion of dangerous or illegal activities, or hateful or harassing language.
  • Education-related Q&A pages, where the primary focus is to provide a correct answer to a user-submitted homework question, may be eligible for a Q&A carousel experience. These pages may only have a single answer that’s provided or selected by in-house experts (instead of users).
    Example: An education page where a user submitted a single question, and a top answer is selected by experts.

This section describes the structured data types related to QAPage.

You must include the required properties for your content to be eligible for display as a rich result. You can also include the recommended properties to add more information to your structured data, which could provide a better user experience.

You can use Google’s Rich Results Test to validate and preview your structured data.

The QAPage type indicates that the page is focused on a specific question and its answer(s). We will only use Question structured data from pages with QAPage markup. There must only be one QAPage type definition per page.

The full definition of QAPage is available at https://schema.org/QAPage.

The following table describes the properties of the QAPage type that are used by Google Search.

Required properties

mainEntity

QuestionThe Question for this page must be nested under the mainEntity property of the QAPage item.

The Question type defines the question that this page answers, and includes the answers, if any, to that question. Exactly one Question type is expected on the page, nested under the mainEntity property of the schema.org/QAPage. There must only be one Question type definition per page.

The full definition of Question is available at https://schema.org/Question. The Google-supported properties are the following:

Required properties

answerCount

IntegerThe total number of answers to the question. For example, if there are 15 answers, but only the first 10 are marked up due to pagination, this value would be 15. This may also be 0 for questions with no answers.
Either acceptedAnswer or suggestedAnswer AnswerTo be eligible for the rich result, a question must have at least one answer – either an acceptedAnswer or a suggestedAnswer. However, questions may not have answers when they are first posted. For questions without answers, set the answerCount property to 0. Questions without answers aren’t eligible for the rich result.

acceptedAnswer

AnswerA top answer to the question. There can be zero or more of these per question. This must represent answers that are accepted in some way on your site. For example, accepted as a top answer by question asker, a moderator, or a voting system. Other forms of sorting answers, such as most-recent, must not be used to identify top answers.

suggestedAnswer

AnswerOne possible answer, but not accepted as a top answer (acceptedAnswer). There can be zero or more of these per Question.

name

TextThe full text of the short form of the question. For example, “How many teaspoons in a cup?”.
Recommended properties

author

Person or OrganizationInformation about the author of the question. To help Google best understand authors across various features, we recommend following the author markup best practices.Include as many properties that make sense for the author, using the supported properties from article and profile page structured data as a guide.

author.url

URLA link to a web page that uniquely identifies the author of the question, most likely a profile page of the Q&A website. We recommend marking up that page using profile page structured data.
comment CommentA comment pertaining to the question, if present. Ideally, this content isn’t an answer: it’s usually a clarification or discussion about the question.
dateModified DateTimeThe date and time the answer was edited, if applicable, in ISO 8601 format.
datePublished DateTimeThe date and time the question was posted in ISO 8601 format.
image ImageObject or URLAny inline images within the question, if applicable.

text

TextThe full text of the long form of the question. For example, “I’m cooking, and I need to know how many teaspoons are in a cup. How many teaspoons are in 1 cup?”

upvoteCount

IntegerThe total number of votes that this question has received. If the page supports upvotes and downvotes, then set the upvoteCount value to a single aggregate value that represents both upvotes and downvotes. For example, if there are 5 upvotes and 2 downvotes, the aggregate value used for upvoteCount is 3. If there are 5 upvotes and downvotes are not supported, then the value for upvoteCount is 5.
video VideoObjectAny inline videos within the question, if applicable.

The Answer type defines the suggested and accepted answers to the Question on this page. Define Answers inside the Question, as values for the suggestedAnswer and acceptedAnswer properties.

The following table describes the properties of the Answer type that is used within a Question.

The full definition of Answer is available at https://schema.org/Answer.

Required properties

text

TextThe full text of the answer. If only a portion is marked up, your content may not be shown and Google cannot determine the best text to display.
Recommended properties

author

Person or OrganizationInformation about the author of the answer. To help Google best understand authors across various features, we recommend following the author markup best practices.Include as many properties that makes sense for the author, using the supported properties from article and profile page structured data as a guide.

author.url

URLA link to a web page that uniquely identifies the author of the answer, most likely a profile page of the Q&A website. We recommend marking up that page using profile page structured data.
comment CommentA comment pertaining to the answer, usually a clarification or discussion about the answer, if applicable.
dateModified DateTimeThe date and time the answer was edited in ISO 8601 format, if applicable.
datePublished DateTimeThe date and time the question was answered in ISO 8601 format.
image ImageObject or URLAny inline images within the question, if applicable.

upvoteCount

IntegerThe total number of votes that this answer has received, if applicable. If the page supports upvotes and downvotes, then set the upvoteCount value to a single aggregate value that represents both upvotes and downvotes. For example, if there are 5 upvotes and 2 downvotes, the aggregate value used for upvoteCount is 3. If there are 5 upvotes and downvotes are not supported, then the value for upvoteCount is 5.

url

URLA URL that links directly to this answer. For example: https://www.examplesite.com/question#answer1

video VideoObject or URLAny inline videos within the answer, if applicable.

The Comment type can optionally be used to describe clarifications or discussions about the question or answer which are neither question nor answer. Define Comments inside the Question or Answer, as values for the comment property.

The full definition of Comment is available at https://schema.org/Comment.

Required properties

text

TextThe full text of the comment. If only a portion is marked up, Google might not be able to determine the best text to display.
Recommended properties

author

Person or OrganizationInformation about the author of the comment. To help Google best understand authors across various features, we recommend following the author markup best practices.Include as many properties that make sense for the author, using the supported properties from article and profile page structured data as a guide.

author.url

URLA link to a web page that uniquely identifies the author of the comment, most likely a profile page of the Q&A website. We recommend marking up that page using profile page structured data.
comment CommentA nested, threaded comment replying to the comment, if applicable.
dateModified DateTimeThe date and time the comment was edited in ISO 8601 format, if applicable.
datePublished DateTimeThe date and time the comment was written in ISO 8601 format.
image ImageObject or URLAny inline images within the comment, if applicable.
video VideoObject or URLAny inline videos within the comment, if applicable.

Search Console is a tool that helps you monitor how your pages perform in Google Search. You don’t have to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google Search results, but it can help you understand and improve how Google sees your site. We recommend checking Search Console in the following cases:

  1. After deploying structured data for the first time
  2. After releasing new templates or updating your code
  3. Analyzing traffic periodically

After Google has indexed your pages, look for issues using the relevant Rich result status report. Ideally, there will be an increase of valid items, and no increase in invalid items. If you find issues in your structured data:

  1. Fix the invalid items.
  2. Inspect a live URL to check if the issue persists.
  3. Request validation using the status report.

When you make significant changes to your website, monitor for increases in structured data invalid items.

  • If you see an increase in invalid items, 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 decrease in valid items (not matched by an increase in invalid items), perhaps you are no longer embedding structured data in your pages. Use the URL Inspection tool to learn what is causing the issue.

Analyze your Google Search traffic using the Performance Report. The data will show you how often your page appears as a rich result in Search, how often users click on it and what is the average position you appear on search results. You can also automatically pull these results with the Search Console API.

If you’re having trouble implementing or debugging structured data, here are some resources that may help you.

  • If you’re using a content management system (CMS) or someone else is taking care of your site, ask them to help you. Make sure to forward any Search Console message that details the issue to them.
  • Google does not guarantee that features that consume structured data will show up in search results. For a list of common reasons why Google may not show your content in a rich result, see the General Structured Data Guidelines.
  • You might have an error in your structured data. Check the list of structured data errors.
  • If you received 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). To fix structured data issues, use the Manual Actions report.
  • Review the guidelines again to identify if your content isn’t compliant with the guidelines. The problem can be caused by either spammy content or spammy markup usage. However, the issue may not be a syntax issue, and so the Rich Results Test won’t be able to identify these issues.
  • Troubleshoot missing rich results / drop in total rich results.
  • Allow time for re-crawling and re-indexing. Remember that it may take several days after publishing a page for Google to find and crawl it. For general questions about crawling and indexing, check the Google Search crawling and indexing FAQ.
  • Post a question in the Google Search Central forum.