Schema is your ticket to entity optimization as it helps search engines understand the context of your web page content and map them to relevant queries online.
NB: This is an article from Milestone
Schema properties or structured data fields on the other hand are your content opportunities to better describe the content on the page and created a nested schema architecture of the entities on the page – which every search engine prefers.
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Implementing schema is not a one-time process as the schema vocabulary constantly changes and the content on websites evolves and changes as brands evolve. This means that your website schemas requires diligent monitoring and maintenance to ensure they are error-free as errors and warnings impact the efficacy of the implemented schema and obstruct their path of being displayed as rich results.
That said, a few days back search engine giant Google said that they were removing 12 structured data fields from the help document of key schema, such as HowTo, QAPage and SpecialAnnouncement – which are frequently used by brands across the globe.
Google’s reasoning towards this exercise was simple:
- The structured data fields were unused on search
- Rich Results Test tool does not flag warnings for these data fields
The benefit of removing the excess structured data fields from HowTo, QAPage, and SpecialAnnouncementSchema
Google is trying to simplify the structured data and the properties included for a given schema. The removal of the structured data fields is a measure to include properties that enhance the context of the content or if the schema property can produce visible rich results.
That said, Google’s John Mueller commented on this very topic earlier, and it’s an important point to think about in this context.
He said, “I think that’s one of the trickier questions with regards to all of the structured data in that we have a lot of things that we use to try to understand a page and the content on the page that we don’t necessarily show directly in the search results. But a lot of things help us to better understand the content and the context of a particular page. And those are things within kind of like a general Schema.org markup which you can use to do various things. And that’s kind of I’d say, almost a shame that we don’t highlight that in the rich results test.”
Structured data fields that were removed from the help documents by Google
As we highlighted above, 12 structured data fields that were removed from the help documents as deemed search redundant from the HowTo, QAPage and SpecialAnnouncement schema are as follows:
The SpecialAnnouncement schema has been recently been introduced due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and is still under development on Schema.Org. Google has now removed the following properties from their help document as they deem them to be irrelevant in the context of a special announcement.
- Category fields
Let’s show you a before and after example of the omission of the audience schema property.