In Focus: Google and Schema Markup – how Google is prioritising supplied structured data in rich results

Aug 12th, 2022

Product reviews are a valuable resource for users researching which product to buy. The use of “pros and cons” lists has been shown to be popular with shoppers when making purchasing decisions. We’re exploring how Google is prioritising schema markup in the update.

The world of Google is always expanding and exploring new ways to provide consumers with effective search results. So it comes as little to no surprise to learn that Google will now be using new structured data for ‘pros and cons’ lists flagged under editorial review pages.

Structured data is highly organised, and easily understood by machine learning. It takes information such as names, dates, addresses, geolocation etc and compiles it for rich snippets, rich cards – the list goes on. What structured data is not, is a ranking factor. While there are a plethora of benefits to structured data, it doesn’t actually directly help you to rank higher in Google. There are questions about whether the new product review update will be a way in which the supplied structured data in combination with expert author schema could help pages to rank higher up SERPs, but simply adding structured data alone is not enough to help it rank.

“So why is it useful then?” Good question. Though it won’t help you rank higher on Google; by optimising your sites with the right information, you’ll find your CTR is often boosted and organic traffic to your page will increase. That’s because rich results are visually-enhanced search results that help searchers make effective decisions before clicking through to a page. Get your structured data right, and may see more activity from the kind of consumers you want on your page.

Another plus to utilising structured data is the added benefit of getting into Google’s Knowledge Graph to help boost your brand visibility. Like Fender for example.

TL;DR structured data is important for SEO.

This new markup is a further example of Google (trying) to put its searchers at the forefront. Previously, Google automatically extracted data for pros and cons shown in search; now Google is prioritising supplied structured data provided by review pages. As always there are guidelines that should be followed when adding structured data, you can view the help document to see how to build your markup rapport.

One thing to note, this is only relevant right now for product review pages.

While you can’t actually write your own pros and cons list, blog comparison sites utilising reviews against their own product vs competitor could very well still make it in the running to adapting information into their own pros and cons list. Loopholes, eh? Envisioning how this would work, brands could use the pros and cons schema to review competitor products, and in those same articles use plain text to provide information comparing their product to the competition.

Structured data is powerful and opens opportunities for more brand recognition, and with the advancements of ML; software is becoming more and more accurate at predicting outcomes. That said, how much emphasis you should deploy into this is fairly low compared to other SEO tactics you could implement on your website. Only time (and Google) can tell if this will change in the future, but it’s best to keep your eyes peeled.

Get in touch if you’d like to find out how you can boost your brand’s SEO performance,

you can find out more about the Google Products Review update and what’s new in structured data here

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