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Google is sunsetting support for data-vocabulary

Structured data is an element that gets talked about a lot within SEO, particularly around the value that these tiny pieces of code can bring to your website’s performance. Whether you call it structured data, Schema, microdata, or any of the other names it’s had over the years, your website’s performance is hindered in organic search if you don’t have it.

This structured data provides information to search engines about what they will find on a page, including elements like the product name and price, the ingredients in a recipe, a business’ name, and contact details and much more. Almost every “rich” result you see in search results is powered by structured data, so it’s very important that this is implemented on your website.

There are several different ways that this can be put onto your site and also a handful of different kinds of structured data that can be used, although now that Google have announced that they are sunsetting data-vocabulary, that number has dropped by one.

Data-vocabulary was a project by Google which allowed them to collaborate with other search engines such as Bing to create the standard Schema.org that we all know and love today. That said, its uptake was never particularly high and even by the standards of structured data ten years ago, it was fairly clunky to implement.

The news that Google will officially be shuttering the project isn’t a surprise at all – the main shock is that it’s taken them so long to do it since it was supplanted by Schema nearly a decade ago. That said, there are some websites still out there using it, so they should consider migrating to Schema (I’m partial to implementing it via JSON-LD, personally) as soon as possible so search enhancements aren’t lost.

All Response Media viewpoint

What does the impending demise of data-vocabulary tell us? Firstly, never rely too heavily on a project by Google that doesn’t directly tie into their revenue streams as they tend to shut them down very regularly, and also make sure that your development and SEO teams are keeping on top of latest trends and technologies.

If you own one of the sites that this will affect, you should receive a message through your Google Search Console account letting you know that data-vocabulary will no longer be supported. Feel free to give your All Response Media team a call if you’ve received one of these and need expert help on migrating to Schema.

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