Updates To Google’s Guidance Regarding Article Structured Data

Gary Green
Gary Green
February 21, 2023

There has recently been an updated issued by Google regarding Article Structured Data. This documentation covers BlogPosting, NewsArticle, and Article, and the most recent update has been released with the intention of making title properties more in compliance with the guidelines regarding title links and title elements.

So, what does this update involve? What does it mean? And how will it impact marketing strategies? Let’s take a closer look.

An Overview

First, you need to understand what structured data actually is. Essentially, it’s a standardised format that provides information regarding any given page so that Google has the details it needs to rank the page’s content most accurately.

It can be extremely difficult for Google Search to understand a page’s contents, and therefore, as a content producer or SEO professional, it is vital to supply the clearest possible information so that Google can gain the best understanding of what the page is about. This can be done through the inclusion of structured data.

When you include structured data, you can help the search results to be more in line with what searchers are seeking, improving search calls while also encouraging users to have greater interaction with your website. By utilising Article structured data as well as its other variants, BlogPosting, and NewsArticle, your web page can qualify for improved searches and this will, in turn, increase the chance of your ad or article being successful.

Article Structured Data is an especially popular type of structured data since a large amount of content is in the form of lots of different types of articles. Making sure that you’re correctly using structured data couldn’t be more essential, since its correct use may make your webpage eligible to achieve excellent results.

Why Does Article Structured Data Matter?

The amendment to the standards for Article structured data by Google means that changes have been made to eligibility to reach Top Stories status. Publishers that now become eligible for this area can really dominate the lead position in the search engine results.

Top Stories is one of the ways in which Google highlights the most up to date news articles within its search engine results. This section appears at the head of the Google search results both on desktop and mobile searchers generated by searches for news subjects currently trending. It’s clear that if a publisher can get their news article into this section of the search engine results, more users are likely to see it and click on it, this taking them through to their website.

For any publisher or website owner that wants to achieve maximum exposure and success, Article Structured Data, therefore, clearly matters.

Without Article Structured Data, Can My Article Never Reach The Top Stories Section?

It’s worth noting that, although Article Structured Data can make a difference to reaching the top stories section of the search engine results, it isn’t strictly required in order to feature in this section. Google took care to point this out in its amendments, although it did state that adding it to blog, sports, and news article pages is vital for helping Google to gain greater understanding of the page, and therefore, enabling it to show the best possible images, date information, and title text for that article in its search results. Although Google has stated that no mark-up requirement is strictly necessary to achieve Top Stories eligibility, in practice, without Article Structured Data, it’s unlikely that Google will have sufficient explicit information about the subject of the content to ensure it reaches this section.

Therefore, ensuring that you have followed the best practice guidelines with regard to adding Article Structured Data makes sense.

Structured Data And Titles

The change to the guidelines specifically has an impact on title properties, which are typically reproduced in the metadata’s title element. Originally, Google recommended that an article’s title or header should not be more than 110 characters in total. However, now, Google has issued new guidance regarding title data, stating that there are no longer any restrictions on the length of article titles. Nevertheless, titles should be concise, since a longer title may fail to fully appear depending on the device being used.

What Title Guidelines Do I Need To Be Aware Of?

The guidance regarding title links advises on the best practices to employ to influence results’ relevance. The best titles help the user to quickly sense what the content is about so that they can make a speedy decision about whether clicking on your page is right for them or not. For this reason, you need to use the highest-quality title links so you can get the best possible results from your website.

Google’s best practices with regard to titles include:

  • Verifying that every website page has its own title specified with the <title> element.
  • That the content written for the <title> elements is descriptive and concise.
  • That the excessive use of keywords has been avoided in the <title> element descriptions.
  • That the patterned and repeated text has been avoided in the <title> elements.
  • That the page’s main title has been made entirely clear.
  • That the search engines have not been allowed to crawl the pages when robots.txt is being used on the website.
  • That the writing system and language being used in the title is the same as that used in the pages’ main content.

Overall, it is essential that conciseness is applied when creating titles, and you should communicate as much information as possible while using the fewest words possible. This will help users to find your page amongst the enormous number of Google search results presented to them.

Nevertheless, despite the above, it’s important to note that you can now use as many characters or words as you need in your headline since the character limit has now been eliminated. You should still be mindful about the way the headline will display in the search results though, to ensure that yours has maximum positive impact.

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