In part III of this series, we have introduce Schema.org Tools that help you to author and test your markup. You will be introduced to Structured Data Markup Helper and Rich Snippets Testing Tool.
The specifications are on the website http://schema.org. It’s easy to navigate and there are quite a few examples. It would however be nice to see more examples and more context around making the best use of the recommendation. This blog posts shows examples of using Google’s Webmaster tools for authoring and testing Schema.org markup.
Structured Data Markup Helper
Google’s webmaster tools require a google account and for you to register your site in Google’s Webmaster Tools. Registration of a site requires verification that you own or are the administrator for the website. It can be done several ways, such as uploading a file to your webserver or connecting the account with your hosting company. The details on how to do this is beyond this, since I want to show how to use the tools.
The process for the Google Tagging Tools is easy. Give it the URL or HTML block, then you go into a Tag Data editor before you’re able to get the HTML with the markup. When you enter the Structured Data URL or HTML, they ask for the primary data type so it gives you the corresponding editor on the next screen. Unfortunately, all the Schema.org objects are here, so try to find an object that is a parent type. For example, a Locksmith is a type of Local Business which is available. Otherwise, pick the closest type and you may get a some value if it shares some of the properties – but remember to adjust the itemtype after.
Once on the Tag Data screen, its as easy as pointing and clicking on the website to pick the property. Below you see me highlighting the business name and image. Not shown is me highlighting the Street, City and Region for the Address. Then a large screen shot shows how the whole thing comes together, with the webpage on the left and the data collected on the right.
When you’re satisfied with the tagging and the data items, the Create HTML button will produce the raw code needed to create the markup on your website. This HTML takes the input and extends it with the schema.org markup in a bold yellow font.
Below you can see the markup for the name and address.
Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool
This tool also requires Google Webmaster access.
The Rich Snippets Testing Tool is used to validate your schema.org markup is correct and to determine what fixes you’ll need to make. To begin you either need a URL that is publicly available or a block of HTML code that can be copied and pasted. If you use the HTML block method, you don’t need the entire <html>, just the sections with the markup.
To get a sense of how it works, they’ve provided Applications, Authors, Events, Music, People, Products, Recipes and Reviews. Below is the example for Events, along with its rich snippet.
Inputting using a URL will have their system retrieve the HTML as their crawler would retrieve it. The tool then parses the HTML to extract the schema.org markup data. The results show a preview of the how the page would show up to a user. If there is data for rich snippets in the collection then you’ll see it here.
Not all objects have a rich snippet.
Not all rich snippets have a preview.
Below the preview is the extracted structured data. This has the different objects it has found, the properties, relationships between objects and any errors it finds. Common errors might include incorrect property name or missing required data.
More Tool Options
If this has wet your appetite but you would like to see some other tools that go further, have a look at the list at SEO Skeptic maintained by Aaron Bradley. Another tool, a JSON-LD Authoring Tool was created by Hunch Manifest.
Check back soon for the other releases in the Schema.org series:
- Part I – Understanding Schema.org
- Part II – Applying Schema.org, Construction Example
- Part III – Schema.org Tools
- Part IV – Semantic Search Marketing at the SemTech 2013 conference