Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tell Google more about the posts in your blog with Webmaster Central's Data Highlighter - now supporting more data types

This QuickTip is about the new types of "things" which the Data Highlighter tool knows about.

In December 2012, Google introduced the Data Highlighter (DH) - this is a tool that lets you point to items in your blog posts LINK and use them to teach Google how you write about certain things.

Now they have announced that this tool has been extended to cover definitions of seven new types of things:
  • Products
  • Local businesses
  • Articles
  • Software applications
  • Movies
  • Restaurants
  • TV episodes

The basic instructions for using the DH tool have not changed: visit Webmaster Tools, select your site, click the "Optimization" link in the left sidebar, and click "Data Highlighter".

Google now advise that "The tagging process takes about 5 minutes for a single page, or about 15 minutes for a pattern of consistently formatted pages."

After you have done some tagging, you can verify Google's understanding of your structured data. If Google has understood your work correctly, and you "publish" it to Google, then, when your site is displayed in search results, Google will use enhanced displays of information "like prices, reviews, and ratings".

It will take time for this to happen: Google needs to re-index your blog-posts before it takes effect.

Note: is a markup language that this tool is based on.    However not all item types are covered by the tool at the moment.   So, for example, we can only use the Data Highlighter tool to show Google how articles, products, TV-show episodes etc are represented on our blogs.    It doesn't go into more detail for things like blog-posts which does have definitions for.

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