SEO News: Google Structured Data Testing Tool to be deprecated and Web Stories have got SEOs excited!

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What is new, interesting and important in the world of SEO this week? Tom Williams brings us another of his weekly news roundups, including SEOs who are upset at the loss of Google's Structured Data Testing Tool and mixed messages around link building.


SEO News: Google Structured Data Testing Tool to be deprecated and Web Stories have got SEOs excited!

Wow, it’s Friday once again …. how did that happen?! It’s time to take you through the juiciest SEO news from the last week. We’ve got a mixture of emotions, starting with many SEOs upset to see the Structured Data Testing tool soon be deprecated. But on the flip side, SEOs are excited about Web Stories and the visual opportunity here!


Unhappy SEOs: Google Structured Data Testing Tool being Deprecated

I must admit, when I saw this notification whilst using the Structured Data Testing tool yesterday, I did get a little upset! Along with thousands of SEOs, I’ve been using this tool for years now.

Google announced that the tool will soon be deprecated and in its place will be the Rich Results Test Tool which is now out of beta. However, many SEOs are already complaining that this tool does not support ALL types of structured data and only a narrow set of Google-approved types.

Here is an image that very much sums up mine and many others’ thoughts on this change:

However, Google have provided a number of reasons why the Rich Results tool is useful:

  • It shows which Search feature enhancements are valid for the markup you are providing
  • It handles dynamically loaded structured data markup more effectively
  • It renders both mobile and desktop versions of a result
  • It is fully aligned with Search Console reports

How do you feel about the loss of the Structured Data Testing Tool? Let me know your thoughts by tweeting me @tommy_iv.


Is All Link Building Bad? Google say No

There has been mixed messaging over the years when it comes to link building.

Back in 2015, John Mueller at Google stated that all link building should be avoided. This was backed up again by John in 2018, where he stated that building links is against the guidelines.

Well now John has pushed out a tweet that goes against these previous discussions:

He didn’t expand any further on this, and when asked to, he simply responded like so:

We will have to wait and see whether he does expand on his comments and if he does, it should be super interesting!


Image Thumbnails appearing for Web Stories in Mobile Search Results

Google have recently renamed AMP Stories to Web Stories, and more information on this can be found here.

Web Stories provide a way for webmasters to tell a visual story and they are quite nifty! Here is an example of a Web Story when clicking onto a result from Google:

There is now a little story icon appearing within mobile results specifically:

This post goes into more detail on how to create a web story if this is something you wanted to trial.


Clarification from Google around Multiple Structured Data Items on a Page

There has been an update to Google’s structured data policy page to clarify what should happen when multiple items on a page are marked up with structured data.

Here is where you can see the updated policy document.

The update provides much clearer examples along with screenshots, which were not there before.

They explain the difference between nesting structured data vs individual items being marked up separately.

And that brings us to the end of this week’s roundup! But fear not, I will be back next week with more!

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