Have you been using the Structured Data Tool to find and fix any errors before adding the schema markup to your website? I will give it to you straight: the new Rich Results Test has recently come out of beta and Google will be taking away the Structured Data Tool.
I know. Let it all out. It is a significant change. However, I think you will like this new tool once you see all the features and get used to working with it. If you would like a quick breakdown of the Rich Results Tool options and how it compares to the Structured Data Tool, please see my video.
If you are new to Structured Data, you can read my blog post about Featured Snippets, Rich Snippets, and Structured Data. TL;DR? Here is the short version of what Rich Snippets are and why you should add Structured Data to your site if you have not already:
I believe that adding Structured Data to your website will become even more critical moving into 2021. I am not a witch, nor do I have a crystal ball. I just noticed some of the not-so-subtle hints that Google has dropped:
Not convinced? You are a tough audience.
If you have been using the Structured Data Testing Tool to test and debug your Structured Data, you might be broken-hearted a little disappointed to find out that it is going away. Here is what you will see when you go to the tool now:
You can still use it the way you always have for now (code or URL on the left side, breakdown of your Structured Data on the right), but now you will see the box in the lower righthand corner that lets you know it is being shut down.
The new tool, Rich Results Test, offers more insights than the Structured Data Testing Tool but takes some getting used to with all of the new options. We will go through the new selections here.
Like the previous version, you can either insert your URL or copy and paste just the Structured Data code, but the new tool goes beyond the old version in many ways:
Please don't take away my Red Card, Target!
One thing that frustrated me about this new tool is that not all schema types are supported yet. I found this out the hard way when I tried to test Structured Data for BroadcastEvent and was pulling my hair out. I did not know why I kept getting the error message "Page not eligible for rich results known by this test." Fiddlesticks! (Yeah, I said it.) BroadcastEvent still worked just fine in the old testing tool. Then I found this list of what you CAN test in the new tool from this Google Rich Results Test resource.
Supported schema types:
I could not help but wonder if that meant that other schema types would be going away. However, it looks like it is just a limitation of the new tool and Google will continue to add more schema types. Thank goodness for Accelebrate that "Course" is still there!
One neat resource I discovered since my last Structured Data article is the RankRager Schema Markup Generator. Just fill out the form on the left and it writes the Structured Data code for you on the right! You may have to tweak and customize your markup, but you will have a framework from which to start.
For me, starting with Structured Data was the hardest part. However, by using a tool like RankRanger and studying the properties and examples at Schema.org, I was able to see how everything fit together to write well-formed, correct Structured Data. You can find instances for any valid property you need at https://www.schema.org/docs/schemas.html.
Overall, moving to the Rich Results Test is a good change and makes sense; Google wants to look at the entire webpage to make sure it sees and understands the page correctly. If there is an issue, webmasters need to know so they can fix the loading problems. Also, I think the visuals are rad. The big green letters and checkmark makes me feel validated. See what I did there?
Good luck with your schema markup and working with this new tool. I think you will grow to really like it and find it extremely useful.
Written by Anne Fernandez
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