Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Webmaster tools Structured Data Testing Tool - helping bloggers who care about SEO

This quick-tip introduces the Google Webmaster Tools structured data testing tool, which gives you a view of how your site looks to the search-engines.

Today I discovered that Google Webmaster Tools offers tools for testing the structured data on your website.

I haven't seen any announcements about it, just noticed it there when I was looking for something else - so I'm not sure if it's really new, just new-to-me, or I've been lucky enough to get a it before most people do.

You can find it here (or at least that's where I'm finding it):

Once you're at that page, you can paste in either an URL (your own, or someone else) or some HTML, press preview - and the system will show you how the meta-tags, open-graph tags and other Google-supported structured data on your site looks to Google.   This isn't important for many bloggers - but is very useful information if SEO matters for your blog.

And you can also "Select the HTML tab to view the retrieved HTML and experiment with adjusting it." - and so test out the effect of making changes to your template etc.

The results show you:
  • A preview of how the URL looks in a Google search-engine-results-page.
  • Authorship testing results - whether have a Google+ page or profile associated with the site
  • Authorship email verifications results
  • Publisher markup verification status
  • An extract of the structured data

I don't even begin to understand what all the results mean.    And I'm not sure if we can do something about all results that are shown - eg   checking Blogger-hints-and-tips currently tells me that there are values for properties that I've never set (eg blogid and postid)  and also properties that aren't part of the schema, eg:
  • Error: Page contains property "image_url" which is not part of the schema.
  • Error: Page contains property "blogid" which is not part of the schema.
  • Error: Page contains property "postid" which is not part of the schema.

But, much like the syntax-checker provided by Facebook for checking how successful you were at  installing Open Graph tags I'm sure that this will be a useful SEO diagnostic tool.

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  1. Did you end up fixing any of these errors or did you just leave them alone?

    1. I left them alone: I figure that my time is better spent working on new content than on worrying about details like these which I probably cannot control.

  2. lol, For the first error " Error: Page contains property "image_url" which is not part of the schema." just search for "image_url" in your template and make a few change so it becomes "image" .