Exploring Structured Data and Rich Results in Google Search Console

Written by Tom Burnett

In this tutorial, we take a quick look under the hood of the enhancements tab in Google Search Console. Learn how to spot issues and understand what structured data is.

Watch our helpful explainer video

What is Structured Data?

In short, it's a way of communicating with search engines what content is about and a way for us to get rich results for that content in results pages. There's a great gallery on Search Central, highlighting some of the main structured data types that Google uses to enhance results. These can improve click-through rates. It's powerful stuff.

What are the benefits?

Some of the primary benefits include

You get things like articles, breadcrumbs, and FAQs - there's there's absolutely tons to look through. You can also use Schema.org to look at the different types of structured data as well as use it as a validation tool.

To view what structured data Google Search Console is aware of, you go to the enhancements tab. Here, you'll find information on what Google is picking up. With Fresh Egg, we have five variants in operation.

Taking FAQ structured data, it reports we have 16 pages that it recognises as having the information, and thankfully none with critical issues.

What are structured data critical issues?

GSC gives you information on whether it can read the information presented correctly. If you do not have errors, you are in a good place. But if warnings exist, they need to be dealt with for the following reasons:

  1. It means your efforts are not going to be rewarded with visibility 
  2. It can send a sitewide signal your structured data is broken in various ways (never a good thing)

💡 Top Tip

If you have critical warnings in Google Search Console, get them fixed as soon as you can

How do I find what's not working?

There are a number of ways to get the information. You can see through GSC what is wrong. You can also use Schema.org to run your URL. It will run the page and pick out any errors or warnings in your structured data.

Do you need help optimising structured data? We can help

What's the difference between structured data errors and warnings?

The difference between errors and warnings is that errors fundamentally mean the page is broken for that structured data and won't work. But warnings are kind of the terminology that they use for enhancing that structured data.

So there are additional things you can include, for example, images or something else that might be attributable to that structured data.

If you go over to the rich results test for Google, another potent tool, you can put it in your URL, which gives you information about the valid items detected. And this you can preview the results; it'll provide you with information on non-critical issues, and that's the kind of warnings we're talking about on schema.org.