Google Updates Carousels (Beta) Structured Data Documentation

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            Google Updates Carousels (Beta) Structured Data Documentation

Google updated the structured data documentation for the Structured Data Carousels (beta) that show rich results for qualifying topics. The new documentation clarifies specific requirements and makes it more explicit that the rich results features are limited to a single geographic area.

Structured Data Carousels (beta)

Carousels Structured Data (beta) enables web publishers that aggregate information related to travel, local, and shopping to add structured data to their pages that makes them eligible for a new carousel rich result that prominently displays their content in the search results in a horizontally scrollable list (the carousel).

This beta rich result feature uses the ItemList structured data and is available for webpages that display content related to LocalBusiness, Product, and Event Schema.org structured data properties. Each tile in the carousel displays relevant information such as price, rating, dates and images in a rich and interactive format.

Stronger Emphasis On Summary Page

The updated documentation makes it clearer that the beta carousel structured data is meant to be implemented on a summary page that links out to pages with more detailed information and that the linked pages that contain the details do not need to have this specific structured data on them.

The old documentation contained the following instructions:

“Add markup to a single page (also known as a single, all-in-one-page list) that contains all list information, including full text of each item. For example, a list of the top hotels in a location, all contained on one page.”

The new documentation now explains it like this:

“Pick a single summary page that contains some information about every entity in the list. For example, a category page that lists the “Top hotels in Paris”, with links out to specific detail pages on your site for more information about each hotel.”

There is also an addition of an example for clarification:

“For example, if you have a “Things to do in Switzerland” article that lists both local events and local businesses.

Add the required properties to that summary page. You don’t need to add markup to the detail pages in order to be eligible for this beta feature.”

There is also an entirely new paragraph:

“Your site must have a summary page and multiple detail pages. Currently, this feature isn’t designed to support other scenarios, such as an all-in-one page where the “details” are anchor points within the same page.

The markup must be on a summary or category page, which is a list-like page that contains information about at least three entities and then links out to other pages on your site for more information on those entities. While you don’t need to add markup to the detail pages, you must include the detail page URLs in your summary page’s markup.”

Lastly, there is an edit to a short paragraph that makes it clearer that the structured data is for a standalone summary page.

This is the previous version:

“The canonical URL of the item detail page (for example, hotel or vacation listing on that page). All URLs in the list must be unique, but live on the same domain (the same domain, or sub or super domain as the current page).”

This is the new version (new wording is italicized):

“The canonical URL of the item detail page (for example, the standalone page for a single hotel or vacation listing that was referenced in the summary page). All URLs in the list must be unique, but live on the same domain (the same domain, or sub or super domain as the summary page).”

Clarification On Geographic Eligibility

Google’s changelog documentation of the changes notes that the changes are meant to clarify that the structured data is for use on summary pages. However it fails to note that the new documentation also has more information about where the new rich results features are available.

This is what the changelog says:

“Clarified that the beta carousel feature is for sites that have a summary page that links out to other detail pages on their website. The markup must be on the summary page, and you don’t need to add markup to the detail pages in order to be eligible for this feature.”

But that changelog is incorrect because it omits that there is an additional paragraph that clarifies that this rich results feature is geographically limited.

The previous version said nothing about what countries are eligible for the beta rich results. That information was contained in the initial announcement of the the new feature but not in the documentation of the new feature.

The new documentation has this additional content which corrects the omission:

“Feature availability
This feature is in beta and you may see changes in requirements or guidelines, as we develop this feature. If your business is based in EEA, or serves users in EEA, and you would like to learn more and express interest in these new experiences, you can start by filling out the applicable form (for flights queries, use the interest form for flights queries).

This feature is currently only available in European Economic Area (EEA) countries, on both desktop and mobile devices. It’s available for travel, local, and shopping queries. For shopping queries, it’s being tested first in Germany, France, Czechia, and the UK.”

It is curious that Google would leave out important information about the feature availability in the original Carousels (beta) documentation and then omit to mention in the changelog documentation that it was added back in.

That’s important information and adding it to the newly updated documentation should have been noted in the changelog.

Read the newly updated documentation and guidelines:

Structured data carousels (beta)

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Framalicious

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