John Mueller clarified how Schema Structured Data can affect rankings. Previously it has been said that structured data was useful for receiving enhanced search listings like stars for reviews and breacrumb navigation displays in the SERPs. John Mueller’s statement makes clear that structured data has more impact than enhanced displays in the SERPs.
Structured Data is Not a Ranking Factor
John Mueller’s tweet stated that there is “no generic ranking boost” for using structured data. That probably means that using structured data does not give a ranking benefit in and of itself the way using SSL does. Here is what John Mueller tweeted about structured data and ranking:
“There’s no generic ranking boost for SD usage. That’s the same as far as I remember. However, SD can make it easier to understand what the page is about, which can make it easier to show where it’s relevant (improves targeting, maybe ranking for the right terms). (not new, imo)”
How Structured Data Helps a Site Rank
According to John Mueller, structured data helps a web page rank better in the same way regular content helps a page rank. The heart of search engine optimization is making it easy for a search engine to understand what the web page is about.
Structured data is a fantastic way to communicate what products are for sale, where a business selling the product is located, what the hours of operation are, how many people reviewed a product and so on. Structured data makes it easy to communicate important information about a product, a business and a web page.
Structured Data is Not Optional
Structured data is an important part of gaining visibility online. Structured data offers the benefits of enhanced listings and the ability to rank better. Search engines are evolving to meet the needs of voice search, voice assistants and mobile search. It is in the interest of all search marketers to add structured data to their web pages in order to gain an edge over the competition.
Who Benefits from Structured Data?
Businesses with offices in several locations can benefit from using structured data. For example, a business can create web pages for each location and use structured data that is unique to each business location to communicate that information to Google.
Businesses that sell or list products online also stand to benefit from structured data. Structured data can communicate the manufacturer part number (MPN), colors, sizes, manufacturer, reviews and descriptions.
Adding Structured Data Markup is Easy
Integrating Schema.org structured data does not have to be intrusive or difficult. A version called, JSON-LD structured data markup can be placed in the head section of a web page without making a change to the regular HTML code that a user sees.
I have helped businesses with offices throughout the United States to local businesses with one office integrate structured data into their web pages. The learning curve is low and the benefits are high. There is no ambiguity about the benefits of adding structured data to your web pages. The benefits are clear.