How to Use the Data Highlighter Tool in Google Webmaster Tools to Add Schema Markup to Your Site


What are Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools is a free tool provided by Google to help website owners and webmasters understand their site’s performance on Google and to help identify technical issues that Google finds while crawling the site. Google Webmaster Tools is also designed to help website owners improve their visibility on Google and to help the search engine better understand your site.

For example, on large sites, submitting an XML sitemap to Google will help the search engine find and index more pages on your site quickly. Every site owner should add and verify their site in Google Webmaster Tools in order to improve their site’s performance on the world’s largest search engine.

What is Schema Markup and Rich Snippets

Schema markup or otherwise known as rich snippets are the star ratings, price information, and other additional lines of information that you will see in search results if markup data has been added. correctly.

According to Google, “Including structured data markup in web content helps Google’s algorithms to better index and understand content.”

There are many types of fortified extracts, but the most commonly used are:

  • Some products
  • Comments
  • Events
  • Receipts

Here’s an example of a rich snippet that contains both product information and reviews:

The example above shows how a site can display additional information visible to users. Not all sites display this information and setting up rich snippets can help encourage users to click on your site. If you are an e-commerce site owner, having rich snippets is a must.

There are other applications for Rich Snippets that can be used on sites other than ecommerce, the example below uses Event Schema to tell users when the next car shares are available for their search:

Rich Snippets event example

Rich snippets typically require a code update to be implemented, meaning website owners will have to pay a developer to implement the code if they don’t have an in-house team.

In order to make it easier for website owners to implement schema data or rich snippets, Google introduced the Data Highlighter tool. This allows website owners who do not currently have the resources or expertise to implement schema markup to easily add certain rich snippet data elements to their site without having to update the code.

Finding and Using the Data Highlighter Tool

Currently, the data highlighter tool can be used to notify Google of the following types of information about your site:

  • Articles
  • Events
  • Local businesses
  • Restaurants
  • Some products
  • Program applications
  • Movies
  • TV episodes
  • Books

To access the tool, you must be logged in to Google Webmaster Tools and working on a site that has been verified, otherwise you will not be able to use the tool. To access the tool, click Search Appearance, then click Data Highlighter:

Data highlighter

Adding data through the tool is quite straightforward as the tool allows users to mark up what they can visually see on the page as well as being able to manually enter missing data. Website owners just need to enter the URL for which they want to add rich snippet data through the tool:

Data Highlighter Tool Categories

The tool can be used to add data to a single page or for larger websites, the tool can also be used to add data to thousands of pages by creating a dataset. The tool is a great way for website owners to quickly add schema data to their site. Google is very good at retrieving data added through the tool and will generally add the information to search results the next time it crawls.

The data highlighter tool is a great option for website owners who don’t have the budget or in-house expertise to implement rich snippets through code and I recommend all website owners to check out the options available on the data highlighter tool to add rich snippets. to improve their ranking in Google search results.


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