What a week in the world of Webmaster Tools! After recently posting an article on a new WMT feature called “Index Status” earlier this week, Google has since announced another feature they’ve just added called “Structured Data”. With the emerging popularity of structured mark-up, it was only a matter of time before Google released a tool that would help webmasters understand and check this data and today is that day – excitement!
I’ve had a play around within WMT and gone through Google’s official post on this new feature, and it’s essentially an easy-to-understand dashboard detailing what Google understands of your website’s structured data. “Structured Data” has three views: Site-level, Item type-level and Page-level. Let’s take a look at each:
This is the first view within the “Structured Data” dashboard (found under the Optimisation tab) shows the structured data that exists on your site, displaying a graph with how many items and pages have been found over time as well as table with useful information such as:
- What type of structured data is it? (hCard, product, article, etc)
- What type of structured markup does the type use? (schema.org, microformats.org, etc)
- How many items are currently using this type/schema?
- How many pages are currently using this type/schema?
Clicking on the name of a data type will bring up the next dashboard below.
This view shows per-page details for each item type (Source URL, #items, Detection date). For certain item types, Google will show a preview column such as “name” or “product”. Clicking on a URL here gives you the Page-level report.
This view shows details of all attributes of every item type on the given page and also has a handy link to the Rich Snippet Testing Tool should you need to test it – no more copy-paste!
In my view, “Structured Data” is a great addition to the WMT suite which allows webmasters to verify Google is detecting markup as well as help to detect any issues that may exist. You can read more about rich snippets on a previous blog post of ours as well as read a Google explanation.
As always, I’m interested in learning what you think about the new feature and Google’s moves in general with becoming more transparent and making it easier for people to improve their websites – please share your thoughts below!