Google recently announced the release of two new tools for webmasters: the Data Highlighter and the Structured Data Markup Helper. According to Google’s webmaster blog, these tools aim to help marketers and site owners create structured data for their web pages that will optimize them in search results.
Structured data refers to a methodology of organizing site data in a way that can be identified by both computers and human readers. Google claims that with the use of these new tools, marketers and webmasters will be able to present web content to Google in a more comprehensive way that can then be presented more attractively and accurately in search results.
The Data Highlighter tool allows site owners to tag site data fields such as events, reviews, products, reviews, etc. so that when Google crawls the site it picks up on these structured data patterns and presents them in rich snippets in search results. The Structured Data Markup Helper is for HTML authors looking to embed structured data within their pages so content is available to everyone.
In an article from Search Engine Roundtable, Barry Schwartz stated “… [the structured data markup tool] basically allows you to select your markup type, highlight what you want to markup on your page and then outputs the HTML for you to copy into your code.”
For marketers, these tools may provide an opportunity to increase the attractiveness and accessibility of their websites in search results. By guiding Google to which structured data fields to index in search results, marketers may have an increased ability to drive users to these fields.