Google’s Rich Results Test Tool Supports ‘Article’ Markup
New in Google Rich Results Test
Google has updated the Rich Results Test tool. The platform now supports the validation of all types of structured data markup.
In July 2020, Google announced that the Rich Results Test is completing the beta testing stage and that you can use the tool to its full function. Along with this, the search engine began to recommend using only the Rich Results Test for checking the markup. Google has decided to drop further support for the old Structured Data Testing Tool even though the platform is still available.
Not everyone in the SEO community was happy with the update:
Google’s decision to abandon the Structured Data Testing Tool sparked controversy and outrage:
Following user criticism, John Mueller stated at an online web meeting that the Google team has reviewed the feedback on the tool and plans to expand the Rich Results Test Tool. After this, Google added structured data markup for the licensed image.
What Is the Rich Results Testing Tool
Rich Results Testing Tool is a search engine tool for testing website pages. The platform shows which pages are suitable for Rich Results and which extended results can be obtained from the content that the page is filled with. For more information on the topic, see the articles What are Rich Snippets? and How to Optimize Featured Snippets Google to Increase Traffic.
The Rich Results Testing Tool is a search engine tool that can help make Rich Snippets seem more convincing to users.
The tool first began working in 2017. At that time, users could only test up to four types of structured data:
By 2020, the tool has been modernized and positioned as the most effective platform for testing Rich Results.
How to Use the Rich Results Testing Tool
To use a search engine tool, you can go two ways: enter the code snippet or enter the URL of the page you want to test.
Check to see which method is more effective for you. We recommend using the URL if the page is already published on the web. The Rich Results Testing Tool will analyze whether the content from the page is suitable for placement on Google. It will first show how it will look in the search results.
Preview is one of the most attractive features of the Rich Results Testing Tool. You have the ability to test different content options. These can range from answers to frequently asked questions to recipes. This way you can see how organic the content will be in search results.
Previewing helps to admire the possible future of the content and to improve its appearance in Rich Snippets. Make sure the titles are eye-catching and the pictures blend harmoniously with the text. Put yourself in the shoes of a random user and test how clear the extended result information is.
If you choose to use code for testing, the platform will produce the same results as when testing a URL. The difference is that you can immediately edit the code.
- First, choose which code you want to test and copy it.
- Add the code to the dedicated field in the search engine testing tool.
- Start the test.
If the tool highlights code fragments in red, then there is an obvious error. If you don’t fix it, the page will never appear in the Rich Results.
The orange color suggests possible code optimization improvements. The orange warning page can still appear in the extended results, but this chance is limited. Such a result will look incomplete, and it may not bring the expected result.
Green colors show that the code has been working well and there are no errors.
The platform uses two types of scanners, one for smartphones and one for computers. You can choose any of them. The smartphone scanner is installed by default, so if you are going to check Rich Results support from your computer, be sure to switch the scanner.
To learn more about how the testing tool works, use the guide from Google.
Benefits of Rich Results Test over Structured Data Testing Tool
Before the advent of the Rich Results Testing Tool, the Structured Data Testing Tool dominated testing tools. Google’s constant updates have made the tool obsolete. It is time to replace it with a more advanced one.
Both tools run tests on both URLs and code snippets. However, if both platforms perform the same function, what’s the difference?
They seem to be the same at first glance but there are several significant differences between them:
- Rich Results Testing Tool is a new generation tool.
- It shows test results for both computers and smartphones.
- It identifies problems/bugs and advises on what markup improvements are worth making.
- It is fully compliant with Search Console reports.
- The Structured Data Testing Tool analyzes dynamically loaded structured data markup more efficiently. Read the related article – What is Structured Data?
- The modern interface has made it easier and more intuitive to test page compliance with Google’s requirements.
Why Rich Results Are Important for SEO
Rich Results or Rich Snippets are the same search results but with additional data. This information comes from structured data and helps the link stand out from the rest.
Classic blue links tell us about URLs, titles, and meta descriptions.
This is what Rich snippets look like. The link shows standard information, reviews, rating, and price. It certainly attracts more attention and trust.
Rich Results take their pride of place in SEO. From the moment a specialist begins to realize their importance, structured data is embedded on all pages of the site to get a chance to stand out in the SERP. Read the current related article – What is the SERP in 2020?
Rich Snippets help not only to stand out in search results but also to overtake competitors as they increase:
Since links contain more data and stand out visually, the likelihood that the user will click on them will increase.
- User engagement
Rich snippet pages are often more relevant to users. A person immediately sees what to expect from the page to which they go, so they open it consciously. They don’t have to guess what will happen next, and the bounce rate is more likely to decrease. More information on the topic in the article – What is a Good Bounce Rate?
To get into rich results, you will most likely start using structured data. Google will start appreciating the site more. The markup makes it easier for the search engine to decipher the data of the web sites.
Structured data is optional for your site to be included in rich results. Google can add content from non-markup pages as well. Even the presence of structured data does not guarantee that the page will end up in Rich Snippets. However, it still gives you more chances because you share well-structured information about the content of the resource.
- Improves the look of the page in Google SERPs
- Adds extended result functions
- Helps to appear in the Google News carousel
- Helps the search engine better understand what your page is about
The Rich Results Test Tool checks the schema markup for errors that can be corrected before the page is published.
The decision to stick with the Rich Results Test Tool is not a whim of Google. It is more rational for a company to develop and support one tool, rather than spending resources on two similar ones.
The search engine chose the Rich Results Test Tool because it cares about the convenience of users who have chosen Google as a platform to promote their site.
The developers take into account all relevant and useful reviews. Therefore, if something does not suit you or if the new application is confusing, do not hesitate to contact Google support directly. John Mueller himself encourages people to write reviews and comment on the Rich Results Test Tool.
After a flurry of negativity that hit Mueller on the web, the SEO specialist made a statement that Google does not force anyone to jump from the familiar Structured Data Testing Tool to the Rich Results Testing Tool but strongly recommends doing so.
It’s not enough to write about how awful Google is. Therefore, if you were going to do this, stop. Mueller encourages you to send well-grounded feedback if you truly notice a flaw in the tool. Such feedback will be passed on to the development team in order to improve the platform to a state that satisfies every user.