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Google: Structured Data Does Not Help Us Trust Authority Or Expertise Of Content

Google’s John Mueller said again that using structured data does not give Google something that it can rely on for saying a page or piece of content is correct, trustworthy and authoritative. Google’s John Mueller said in a recent Google hangout at the 9:53 mark “it’s not that there is a specific structured data element that you can put on a page and say, well, my page is correct, or my information is correct.” So adding structured data won’t directly help with Google thinking the content is trusted or expertise. Also, we know structured data does not directly help with rankings.

The question asked was “the best experts at a country level review our articles from the health section of our website. We want to be sure that not only users, but also Google appreciates it. What advice can you give us?””

Here is how John answered it:

So essentially, well, when it comes to things like this, where you’re saying, well, we do a lot of background work to make sure that the information that you get is really valid, it’s correct, that’s relevant. Then that’s something that you essentially need to show to users primarily, and our systems will be able to pick up on that over time.

It’s not that there is a specific structured data element that you can put on a page and say, well, my page is correct, or my information is correct. It’s like, you should trust me; I did a lot of work. But really, you want to persuade is the users.

And if we can tell that there’s a lot of background information there, if our systems recognize that this is clear to users as well, then that’s something that we will try to reflect in search.

So from that point of view, I wouldn’t focus so much on structured data, or meta tags, or anything like that. But really make sure that it’s clear for users, and then we should be able to pick that up, too.

Here is the video embed:

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This is not new messaging from Google. John hinted at this 10 months ago where he said “If it’s just like hidden away in structured data then that’s not very useful for users because users tend not to use view source when looking at a page to determine whether or not they should trust it. So I would try to find an approach that works well primarily for users and focus on that.”

Here are some similar stories on this topic, which can be somewhat confusing right now in our SEO world:

We covered this before, but I cannot exactly find it in my archives. Google basically measures this based on if like 95% of the content on the web says X about a topic and goes Y deep, but if your content doesn’t match that – then Google might not trust it as much. It is a bit of a simplification of this but I hope this helps.

Forum discussion at YouTube Community.

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