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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Google Discussion & Quality Assurance Updated Structured Data With An Emphasis on Authorship

Google’s modifications to the structured data documentation for both Forum and Q&A pages center around authorship data.

Google clarified the new authorship-related requirements for both types of structured data in their updated guidelines for forum structured data and Q&A structured data.

Regarding the forum structured data, two new suggested properties have been added for the author type (the new recommended property is connected to authorship data) and the InteractionCounter schema.org data type has been clarified.

Links to the author biographies of people who ask questions, respond to questions, or comment on questions are being included as part of the modifications to the Q&A structured data.

All of the modifications have an impact on how Google processes data pertaining to individuals who leave comments in a Q&A or forum style.

It’s also noteworthy because it demonstrates Google’s interest in identifying content creators—this time, in the context of a forum or a Q&A page.

Author names are not yet displayed in search results for user-generated forum answers.

However, Google is using authorship signals more and more, such as displaying the names of news item authors. As a result, it’s unclear if Google is considering displaying forum user names or if it will be using author data for other purposes behind the scenes.

New Authorship Requirements for Q&A Structured Data

Additionally, Google changed the Q&A (QAPage) structured data with Author signal-related constraints.

Pages with questions and answers together with a variety of remarks that aren’t questions or answers are known as Q&A pages.

Publishers are required by the modifications to the Q&A pages structured data to provide links identifying the writers.

Three Changes Associated with Authorship

  1. The question’s authors
    The discussion starter and thread starter is the question with a structured data type, and this criterion relates to the question’s creator.
  2. Writers of a response
    This pertains to the Answer Schema.org structured data type’s creator. The two characteristics of this structured data type are suggestedAnswer and acceptedAnswer, which respectively denote two types of answers: recommended answers and accepted answers.
  3. The commentators
    The Comment type is an optional structured data type that can be used to characterize the questioner’s explanations or conversations that don’t necessarily require an answer, such as those in which responders seek clarification.

For question, answer, and comment authors, the new specifications are the same.

Writer of a query

"author.url URL

A link to a web page that uniquely identifies the author of the question, most likely a profile page of the Q&A website. We recommend marking up that page using profile page structured data."

Author of the Answer

"author.url URL

A link to a web page that uniquely identifies the author of the answer, most likely a profile page of the Q&A website. We recommend marking up that page using profile page structured data."

Author of the Comment

"author.url URL

A link to a web page that uniquely identifies the author of the comment, most likely a profile page of the Q&A website. We recommend marking up that page using profile page structured data."

Data Type: Structured InteractionCounter

The primary portion of a given segment of structured data code is represented by a Schema.org structured data type. All that the Property does is describe that particular type of structured data.

In the vernacular of Schema.org, a Property is a Type attribute.

Google is informed by the InteractionCounter Schema.org structured data type on the frequency of author interactions.

Because InteractionCounter structured data must have certain structured data qualities, this is significant. Required refers to the requirement that the properties be used in order to be eligible to appear in Google Perspectives and other rich result search results.

Prior to this, Google’s forum description for the InteractionCounter “type” was ambiguous and limited to defining two of its “properties.” It did not provide examples of how to use the two related Properties and that data type in a particular context.

Google updated this section to make it clearer why it’s vital and beneficial to utilize the InteractionCounter type for recording different author interactions.

Additional Information Regarding interactionType

What Google updated in the forum structured data docs is listed below.

According to the earlier guidance:

Additional Information Regarding interactionType

What Google updated in the forum structured data docs is listed below.

According to the earlier guidance:

The updated guidelines are shown below, with the modified text marked in italics:

"Required properties

interactionType Subtype of Action

For a list of valid Action subtypes for this property, check the property that's using InteractionCounter (for example, interactionStatistic)."

Author Added To Required Properties

Property Author.URL

The addition of the author.url Property of the Comment structured data Type is another significant modification to the Forum structured data guidelines.

This is a necessary attribute that impacts eligibility for the relevant forum-related rich results in Google search, which makes the adjustment even more significant.

The recently added new advice is as follows:

"author.url        URL

A link to a web page that uniquely identifies the author of the post, most likely a profile page of the forum. We recommend marking up that page using profile page structured data."

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