Google Upgrades Structured Data Tool - What You Need to Know

For many years, if you wanted to analyze your website’s structured data, you could visit the Google Structured Data Testing Tool. This is no longer an option.

Google has replaced it with a navigational page that directs you to its Rich Results Test Tool or the Schema.org Schema Markup Validator.

Why Has Google Replaced its Structured Data Testing Tool?

Google initially launched the Structured Data Testing Tool in January 2015 with the goal of helping developers better understand how its algorithms viewed their websites. It was a relatively simple system that could detect data types and provide users with error warnings.

In December 2017, the organization rolled out its Rich Results Test Tool with a similar objective in mind. This tool was much more advanced than the Structured Data Testing Tool, but it remained in beta until July 2020.

When the Rich Results Test Tool came out of beta, Google announced it would phase out its legacy Structured Data Testing Tool. In August 2021, the search engine giant completed the transition.

What Should You Know About Google’s Rich Results Test Tool?

The Google Rich Results Test Tool is similar to the legacy Structured Data Testing Tool. Both systems can alert developers to errors and display lists of data types found on websites.

However, the Rich Results Test Tool offers lots of features that didn’t exist in the Structured Data Testing Tool. The most notable new developments include:

  • Device Selection: The new Rich Results Test Tool lets you decide whether you want to analyze your pages on desktop or mobile. All you need to do is select an option from the dropdown menu when you enter your URL.
  • Results Previews: If your structured data is valid, you can click the Preview Results button to see how your page will appear in Google results.
  • Page Loading Analysis: When you enter a URL into the Rich Results Test Tool, Google will check to see if it is loading correctly. Should it notice any loading issues, it will provide you with the information needed to fix the problem.
  • Review Snippets: The Google Rich Results Test Tool can detect if your website has a review snippet. If it does, the tool will display it in a separate dropdown box beneath the main Detected Items section.
  • Test Sharing: When you run a test in Google’s new system, you can share it with other members of your team using a browser link. You do not need to assign special permissions before sharing. Result links remain valid for 90 days.
  • Save Test History: The Rich Results Test Tool automatically saves your code each time you use it. It retains the data for 90 days.

The Google Rich Results Test Tool supports structured data in Microdata, RDFa, and JSON-LD formats.

What is the Schema.org Schema Markup Validator?

When you go to the old Structured Data Testing Tool page, Google will try to direct you toward the Rich Results Test Tool or the Schema.org Schema Markup Validator.

You now know what you will find if you visit the Rich Results Test Tool, but what is the Schema.org Schema Markup Validator, and how can you use it to improve your website?

Schema.org was founded by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex with a mission to “create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the internet.” (For more information on Schema, check out this fusionZONE blog we wrote.)

When Google announced it would begin phasing out its legacy Structured Data Testing Tool, the Schema.org team started working on a tool of their own. This system, now known as the Schema Markup Validator, launched in May 2021.

So, if the Schema Markup Validator is more like Google’s old system than its new one, why would you want to visit it? Put simply, it can show you a greater variety of structured data schema than Google’s proprietary tool.

When you plug your URL into the Rich Results Text Tool, it will only show you info on Google-supported data types. However, if you enter your site into the Schema Markup Validator, you can view a much broader range of structured data types without Google feature-specific warnings.

This information can prove vital when optimizing your site for non-Google search engines such as Yahoo and Bing.

Need Help Testing Your Structured Data? Contact the FZA Digital Team Today!

Generating and testing structured data is an essential part of the search engine optimization process. However, it can often be quite complicated and time-consuming. If you need any help along the way, please do not hesitate to reach out to the experts here at FZA Digital. We will be more than happy to provide you with the assistance you require.

To learn more about our company and our services, please give us a call at (424) 232-0810 or fill in our brief online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!