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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Google Updates Rich Results Test Tool To Include Support For Paywalled Content

Google helps publishers clarify locked content by integrating paywall markup validation into the Rich Results Test tool.

The Rich Results Test tool has received an upgrade from Google that now lets you verify structured data markup for material behind a paywall.

With the aid of this new feature, publishers will be able to correctly label subscription-based content on their websites.

The modification occurs as Google continues to improve its indexing and presentation of paywall-protected material in search results.

Google wants to direct visitors to pertinent paywall articles, but it also has to stop tricks like “cloaking,” in which websites display different material to users than Google.

Needs to be subscribed to. To do this, add schema.org markup to the website to specify which areas are protected by a paywall.

Paywall Structured Data Markup addition
Publishers are advised by Google’s support material to add JSON-LD or microdata to each paywalled block’s markup, such as:

<div class="paywall">This content requires a subscription.< /div>

The markup then specifies that div as being non-free access:

"hasPart": {
"@type": "WebPageElement",
"isAccessibleForFree": "False",
"cssSelector": ".paywall"
}

The Google Rich Results Test tool may now verify that you’ve appropriately applied these paywall markup schemes after the upgrade.

Details of Paywall Structured Data
Specifically, the “isAccessibleForFree” and “cssSelector” attributes Google advises utilizing are covered by the new validation support.

The markup is applicable to a variety of CreativeWork content kinds, including articles, blog posts, courses, reviews, and communications.

Publishers can define numerous cssSelector values in an array for websites with multiple paywalled parts.

Examples of both single and multiple paywall systems may be found in Google’s documentation.

The announcement follows growing publisher apprehensions about Google technologies like Search and the AI chatbot Bard that unpaid paywall content is being surfaced by.

One thing publishers may do to make it clear what is hidden behind a paywall is to provide the appropriate markup.

Google advises users to be aware that simply adding structured data does not ensure that paywalled content will show up in search results or AI-generated summaries. Google’s capacity to index and crawl a website can have an impact on whether or not it displays pages.

Final Remarks
Marking up paywalls won’t address all of the problems associated with Google exploiting paid content. However, more structured data does offer more clarity, which is advantageous to both Google and publishers.

In its official help guide, Google provides troubleshooting advice for publishers having difficulty implementing the markup.

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