Most SEOs are already familiar with Google’s stance on schema. They are notoriously quiet on the subject. In January 2018, Roger Montti published a popular article in SearchEngineJournal, where he states that Schema Markup is currently not a ranking factor. To our knowledge, Google has not responded this statement. Schema Markup is supposed to help Google understand what a page is about and then categorise it. But is Schema Markup actually a ranking factor in Google’s algo? We know the answer…
A page with schema markup outranks a page without schema markup
Number of test pages is 2 with 400 word articles of 2% keyword density. Experiment page had product and offer schema at the top of body tag, the control page did not. Both pages published on May 9th and both submitted to Google at the same time.
After running two tests, only the variable/experiment page (the one with schema) was indexing. The pages without schema did not appear in results, even though they had been submitted to Google. Therefore, both tests confirm the hypothesis that a page with schema markup outranks a page without schema markup.
The bottom line - because Schema Markup is indeed a ranking factor - we absolutely recommend using it to your advantage. As an added bonus, Schema Markup is not a difficult thing to do.
The structured data should be compatible with the content on the webpage. If the information on the webpage doesn’t match the schema, it’s likely that your website will be penalized by Google. The same relates to the information that is not visible to the readers of the page.
Don’t use aggregate rating schema across all pages, otherwise Google will assume that all your pages have been rated equally. For example, adding your overall business score to the product pages would be found misleading, as products have their own review scores. We suggest keeping your overall score within organization schema on the home page only.
In October 2016, Google updated their guidelines to state that you shouldn’t use third party reviews within your Local Business Schema. Therefore, we recommend that you play it safe and review Google’s guidelines and policies for structured data.
Before publishing your Schema Markup, make sure to test it in the Google Structured Data Testing Tool. Addressing the errors and warnings accordingly will definitely reduce the risk of having your website penalized.