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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Structured Data Format Mixing Is Now Permitted by Google

Google unveiled Graph Merge, a new method of exchanging Structured Data that combines Schema types.

Google declared that two types of Schema.org structured data can now be combined and that the combined data will pass validation at the main structured data validators.

You are no longer limited to utilize Microdata structured data or JSON-LD exclusively. Although RDFa is supposed to validate, it’s unclear if it is included.

Syntax-Graph Fusion

From Google Search Central Live in Zurich, where the announcement was made, Aleyda Solis tweeted the news.

Google had a soft launch last week and only made the announcement today.

What This Is All About In Simple Words

Only certain usage scenarios where it makes sense will be affected. Otherwise, stick with the Schema.org structured data type that is working for you.

However, there are additional scenarios in which using the Schema.org JSON-LD and Microdata format makes sense.

JSON-LD with Microdata Structured Data Different

JSON-LD is a script that can be anywhere in the webpage’s body or in the head part of the HTML, together with other meta data like the title and description. Because JSON-LD structured data is independent of HTML and is simple to manage, read, and troubleshoot, it is recommended.

Microdata is markup that integrates with HTML as attributes of elements.

This means, for example, that you can have a heading element (H1, H2, etc.) that could contain a Microdata attribute.

This is what an H2 with Microdata looks like:

<h2 itemprop=”name”>Name of a Movie</h2>

One common use case is to replicate your primary content in the JSON-LD format so that you can tell Google exactly what your major content is without increasing the size of your HTML page or your JSON-LD structured data.

Instead of having to copy all of the content inside of the JSON-LD structured data, you can now tell Google what the primary content is (when using the Article structured data) utilizing the Microdata format of structured data.

This implies that you may now use both Microdata and JSON-LD in your code, thus it’s no longer necessary for it to be enormous.

Utilizing the structured data from Live Blogging is an additional use case.

You are not need to make any changes to your current JSON-LD structured data in order to make this adjustment. It is completely voluntary.

Noticed a Change Google’s soft launch last week was widely publicized thanks to a post on LinkedIn by Structured Data Consultant Jarno Van Driel (LinkedIn profile).

Jarno posted on LinkedIn to initiate a conversation on this subject:

“It appears that Google has made a significant improvement to the Rich Result Test and the Schema.org validator, which fulfills a long-standing personal wish:

enabling the coalescence and/or chaining of items defined in several syntaxes (JSON-LD, Microdata, RDFa)!”

Effects on SEO

Because publishers can now make use of low-code Microdata without having to commit to using Microdata exclusively, this will have an influence on SEO.

That being said, although there might be additional use cases where it makes sense, the most obvious consequence is to publishers that reproduce the whole article in the articleBody property of the blog posting, Article, and other comparable Schema.org structured data types.

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