Google is making it easier for webmasters to add more structured data to their sites that will then help Google index and display these sites with rich snippets on its search results pages. This structured data also helps Google to feature a site’s information in its Knowledge Graph panels and on Google Now cards.
For website owners who aren’t all that technical, however, adding this structured information to their sites wasn’t always easy, so about almost six months ago, Google launched Data Highlighter as part of its Webmaster Tools. It’s an easy-to-use point-and-click tool for teaching Google about structured data on any site without the need to touch any HTML code.
Today, it is expanding this tool to make it easier for site owners to tell Google about products, local businesses, articles, software applications, movies, restaurants and TV episodes on their sites. This process, Google says, should take about five minutes for a single page or 15 minutes for creating a pattern that can mark up a set of consistently formatted pages.
Google, however, also realized that it needed to offer some tools for more sophisticated users. While Data Highlighter lets webmasters tell Google about their structured data without touching any code, Google would obviously prefer developers to add this data to their sites directly. That’s why it is launching the Structured Data Markup Helper today. The tool works similar to the Data Highlighter, but at the end, it generates sample HTML code of the microdata markup. It supports all of the data types available in Data Highlighter.
Structured Data In Gmail
One nice feature of this tool is that it also supports the new structured data embeds in Gmail, which the company quietly announced at Google I/O earlier this month. For these, the tool includes options to create sample code for event, flight, lodging and restaurant reservations.