Google has always denied any relation between Schema.Org microdata and SERPs ranks. Also Google has limited support for structured data including what it terms “Enhancements” and “Content Types”. Earlier they were limited to merely 6. However today it includes the 6 “Enhancements”: Breadcrumb, Sitelinks searchbox, Corporate contact, Logo, Social profile and Carousel.
Also Google supports the following “Content Types”:
- Fact Check
- Job Posting
- Local Business
- Paywalled content
- TV and Movie
Initially it only supported merely 6 content types, however Google now supports 17. There’s no doubt that this number will continue to increase.
What does Google use structured data for?
Structured data is microdata that describes the elements or the semantics of page elements. Google uses structured data to understand what’s what on the page. Structured data is not visible to the naked eye but it only appears in the source-code of the webpage. Google uses this microdata to understand the various elements of the webpage and the additional information that they contain about the webpage content. For example webpage header, footer, sidebar etc.
This extra information adds relevance to various elements. For example, even though the following code is invisible on the webpage, it provides some important information like the date of publishing, modification, the URL of the webpage, the publisher, etc.
<meta itemprop="author" content="Convertica"> <meta itemprop="datePublished" content="2008-08-21T17:19:15+00:00"> <meta itemprop="dateModified" content="2018-04-02T13:41:02+00:00"> <meta itemprop="mainEntityOfPage" content="https://www.converticacommerce.com/"> <span itemprop="image" itemscope="" itemtype="https://www.schema.org/ImageObject"> <meta itemprop="url" content="https://www.converticacommerce.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/convertica-logo-300x96.png"> </span> <div itemprop="publisher" itemscope="" itemtype="https://schema.org/Organization"> <meta itemprop="name" content="Convertica Commerce"> <span itemprop="logo" itemscope="" itemtype="https://www.schema.org/ImageObject"> <meta itemprop="url" content="https://www.converticacommerce.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/convertica-logo.png"> </span> </div>
Naturally, this metadata gives some important insights to Google with the help of which it can determine the freshness of the page and many other things. This helps Google calculate the relevancy of the data accordingly and this indirectly helps ranks. Here’s what John Muller of Google tweeted:
There's no generic ranking boost for SD usage. That's the same as far as I remember. However, SD can make it easier to understand what the page is about, which can make it easier to show where it's relevant (improves targeting, maybe ranking for the right terms). (not new, imo)
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) April 2, 2018
Structured Data Means Better Search Relevance
As you can see Google does use the structured data to ascertain the relevancy of a webpage. Google’s support for additional “content types” and structured data continues to grow. It’s only obvious that other search engines will follow suit (or could already be doing it). The richer the structured data, the more information Google has to identify the contextual relevance of the webpage. And where ranks are concerned, relevance is a top priority. Does your website use structured data?