Goodbye Structure Data Testing Tool – How to Use the Rich Results Test

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Google recently announced (Tuesday, July 07, 2020) that the Rich Results Test fully supports all Google Search rich result features and is now out of beta. They also went on to say that they are preparing to deprecate the Structured Data Testing Tool.

Since we’ve covered a number of videos on structured data and testing that data using the Structured Data Testing Tool, I thought it would be a good idea to compare that tool with the new and improved Rich Results Test.

In this video, I’ll walk you through both tools and share how you can leverage the Rich Results Tools to validate your structured data and know if your site is eligible for rich results.

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Video Transcript:

Hey, in the latest episode of Hack My Growth we’re going to be talking about Google’s transition away from the structured data markup tool into the new Rich Results Test.

From Structured Data to Rich Results Testing

As I said in the opener, we’re going to be discussing how Google is transitioning away from the structured data testing tool into the new Rich Results tester. This is a pretty big change.

The structured data tool is something that I’ve used for a number of years and really grown to like quite a bit to help me find errors in my structured data and also to validate and test my structured data before implementing it on my site.

The new Rich Results tester is still a great tool and it’s a tool that I’ve also been using, even though it’s been in beta for quite a while. But now that this tool has come out of beta, Google is going to be removing or getting rid of the structured data tool and making all webmasters move into the Rich results tester.

In this video, we’re going to be looking at the new Rich Results Testing Tool, the features that it has, how you can use it, how you can leverage this tool to help validate your markup, but also make sure that your pages are eligible in those Rich features.

Also, some of the things that we’re going to miss with the structured data helper tool, which has been with us for quite some time. And definitely, it’s one of those things that I’m sad to see go.

What Is Structured Data?

We’re going to switch over to screen share and we’re going to dive into both of those tools. All right. So this is the structured data testing tool from Google. If you watched any of our videos in the past, you’re probably pretty familiar with it. If you’re into structured data or you’ve been leveraging, micro data, things of that nature for years, you’ve probably used this tool one time or another. It’s pretty simple. You just type in the URL of any site you want to look at, and let’s do one that we don’t own. You put in the domain. It’s going to run the test, and the tool is going to extract all the code over here, and then display all of the structured elements on the right side.

The really cool part of this tool is it allows you to quickly identify errors within your code.

Right here, we’re seeing that two of the JSON-LD markups on Best Buy’s page have some errors. It’s missing either in bracket or maybe a comma or something along those lines that’s preventing it from going in here and validating their website schema.

This tool is extremely helpful for us to find those errors and then fix those errors so that we can then have this organizational schema on our website and make sure that it’s all working correctly in the way that it should.

Now, you can also use this tool to run a new test and run just a specific code snippet. We could come in here and paste some basic JSON-LD, run the snippet, and then it’s going to spit out and show us, okay, yes, you’re valid. There’s no errors, there’s no warnings. Everything’s looking great.

New Rich Results Tool

Google is moving away from this tool. I’m a little bit bummed. I love this tool. I use this tool quite a bit. But let’s look now at the new Rich Results Tool and the test that we can perform over there.

You’ll notice one thing is similar here. We have the options to either do a URL or a code in particular. We’ll go ahead and do the code that we had first. We can paste it in here. We can select either Google desktop or a smartphone. We click test the code.

Now, what this is doing is very similar to the structured data tool where it’s going to show us, okay, this code is eligible for Rich Results. This is the type of Rich Result that we would have, and this is the information stacked right in here.

Now, there are no loading issues. It’s going to show us some information on that. You can even now pull in the rendered HTML, which again, this is a code input. There’s really not a whole lot going on here.

But if we just have this on a page, it would render and it would be “eligible” for the Rich Results. The structured data can generate that. Let’s run Best Buy’s URL again and see the difference in this tool as opposed to the structured data testing tool.

All right. We’ve run Best Buy’s website again here through the Rich Results Test. Now, what you’re seeing is this big red exclamation point, and not all markup is eligible for Rich Results.

How Rich Results Is Different

Unlike the structured data testing tool, where it’s going to show our code here, and I can click here on the elements and look specifically at the JSON that we’re having issues with, in the new Rich Results Tool, we’re going to see right here a parsing error.

What you can do is click the view rendered HTML, and this will bring the code up on your site. Now, you can click this line here and it’s going to pull you to where it’s finding the issue, which would be right here in the website schema, as well as here in the organizational markup.

So right here, you can see the issue is the name. And the problem is they’re not using quotations like they should be. As you can see, we’ve got the quotes here for the content. The quotes are really important because those are to open and close your arguments here in your JSON. Because these are not placed in here, it actually can’t parse the data. It doesn’t understand that this is a name or a URL.

You need to know a little bit about how JSON-LD works and how structured data is built in order to find those issues. But you can still find them here. You can still click. It will bring you to that line of code that you’re having an issue with.

You can X this out. Now, some of the nice things that it will show you the type of Rich feature you can rank for. When you look in search console, you can see this exact same name like a breadcrumb Rich feature. You can drop it down, it’ll show you how it’s typed out or how it’s being read. It’s not going to show you the same like it is over here with the type element position, how it’s broken down the way JSON is written. Here, it looks a little bit different. So you’re not going to have the extra elements here, but still pretty well done. Again, you can look this code up here and it’ll show you exactly where it is here in their script.

New Features of Interest

There are some cool features here with this tool as well. They’ve also got quick links to the gallery like they used to have over here in the structured data testing tool, and also some of the reports that you can go to right within search console. If you notice that this tool actually fits within the webmaster tools or search console, what’s known as now.

Another cool feature with the Rich Results Test is it’s going to pull up more than the eligible markup. It will also show you things like page loading issues. You can view the details here, and you can notice here when we ran this test, not all the page resources were loaded, so letting us know that, “Hey, this could impact how Google sees and understands the page. So you might want to make sure that which pages that you’re loading, in which parts of the page you’re not.”

In some cases, maybe you’re blocking some JavaScript or something or CSS that you don’t need Google to crawl, but it also could be things that you might need Google to crawl. You might want them to crawl and fetch.

It’s important to look through these and understand how your page is being crawled and if all that information that you want Google to see is able to be seen.

A Potential Good Change

There are some cool features here on the Rich Results Test. I think my favorite thing I think I’m going to miss the most about this is it’s just so simple. You put your URL in, you put your code in, it’s very easy to see, to click and expand, and you’re not having to open all these other windows.

The Rich Results Test has a number of cool features. I think it’s visually intriguing. When you do validate your code, you have this big green image so you know it’s good and red is bad. I think that’s helpful.

Having some of these call-out boxes may not be as intuitive, but it’s something that we’ll all have to get used to. I think, over time, we’ll grow to really love this tool. It still has the ability to narrow down and help us find where the issues could be within our code and why it’s not validating.

I think the other added benefit to this tool is when it comes to the page loading issues and allowing us to really understand how that page is being crawled, how the search crawlers are understanding, are we sending them the right information, are they able to make sense out of our pages.

That’s what structured data is all about, is making sure that we’re speaking the language of the search engines and giving them the information that they understand in the ways that they best understand it. Page loading obviously plays a huge role in that because if they can’t fully read your page, your content, your code, then they’re going to have a much harder time making sense out of your content.

Rich results test is the test to go for now. It’s the one that we should be using and prioritizing. Google will be sunsetting the structured data testing tool. If you use this tool right now, you’ll get a little box that pops up letting you know that that’s happening.

We’re going to have to say goodbye to this cool tool and say hello to using Rich Results Tests a lot more. I hope you guys found something useful with this video. If you have any questions, please comment below. We’d love to continue this conversation. Please subscribe to our channel as we create new content each and every week to help you out. And also feel free to share this with anybody that you think would get some value out of this video and this content. And until next time, Happy Marketing.

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