Marketers looking to improve the technical side of their sites’ SEO received some help from Google recently when the company rolled out a Structured Data Dashboard tool within Webmaster Tools. According to the Webmaster Central blog, the information within the dashboard will help companies quickly verify the microdata of their websites to ensure rich snippets processed by Google are accurate and optimized.
Google has broken the optimization tools down into three separate “views”: site-level, item type-level and page-level.
According to Google, site-level data is aggregated by “root item type and vocabulary schema.” Essentially, Google constructs a high-level map of the major schema, or content buckets such as Book, News, Article, Blog, etc. These content buckets are presumably used throughout a website, comprising individual instances of each type as well as the sum total of pages containing them. This format is largely similar to that of “Content Drilldown” in Google Analytics. It is possible for one page to contain multiple schema, for instance “Articles” might contain “News” and “Blogs.” The new site-level view gives a list of the detected schemas so site owners can see that every HTML element is processed by Google’s search crawlers to assemble an accurate understanding of the content on a site.
At site-level view, marketers will see how many “Blogs” there are.
The next deeper levels of granularity in the Structured Data Dashboard are lists for each specific Itemtype, or “content bucket.” This is simply a breakout of which pages are contained in each schema, along with a relevant identifier – Google gave a Product’s “title” as an example. The pages are presented in reverse chronological order, based on when they were crawled (most recent at the top.)
At Itemtype-level view, marketers will see all the pages marked as “Blogs,” with the most recently added ones listed at the top.
With Page-level view, marketers can assess, which refers to how each page included in a content bucket is marked up for the search crawlers. Any detected structured data markup is displayed, along with a link to Google’s Rich Snippet testing tool to preview the page’s appearance in a simulated search result. Site content that isn’t labeled effectively makes it difficult for Google to determine the material on a page and define it properly within search. Moreover, it will make it more difficult for searchers to understand why they should click through to a site on a SERP.
At Page-level view, marketers will see how each page marked as a “Blog” is described to the crawler.
Each of the data types offers a new level of understanding and control for webmasters, site developers and marketers. While recent updates to Webmaster Tools and Analytics, including Index Status and Content Experiments, provided critical new capability and understanding for marketers, Structured Data Dashboard tells marketers of any issues within their site code that may hinder their SEO.