Google Announces Upgraded Schema Support

Today on the Google webmaster blog Google has announced upgraded Schema support for additional phone types and detailed specific recommendations for using Schema.org on location pages. It is unfortunate but Google did not include a new schema for call tracking. Obviously this granular detail is useful for achieving more accuracy in Knowledge Graph answer boxes. From the post:

Four types of phone numbers are currently supported:

  • Customer service
  • Technical support
  • Billing support
  • Bill payment

For each phone number, you can also indicate if it is toll-free, suitable for the hearing-impaired, and whether the number is global or serves a specific countries. Learn how to specify your national customer service numbers.

The recommendations for location pages do not seem new and reinforce what many have been saying but they do clearly articulate what multi-location store finder pages should look like:

Specifically:

  • Have each location’s or branch’s information accessible on separate webpages
  • Allow Googlebot to discover and crawl the location pages
  • The location information should be presented in an easy-to-understand format
  • Use schema.org structured data markup
  • A note about mobile-optimized websites: many users access location pages using their smartphones. In addition to the specific guidelines above, make sure that your site is optimized for smartphone devices, and that the information you share on the location pages is easily consumed on smartphones.

The note to be sure that information is presented in a way easy for the bot to understand bears repeating as many corporate sites create pages that are too complex:

information [should] be accessible on a unique URL, and you should avoid showing important location information using complex Javascript. Store location pages should ideally contain as much information as possible when the page loads. If additional data needs to be loaded after an action, such as a user click, it is preferable that the additional data is present on a separate store-specific URL and linked to using a simple HTML link rather than Javascript. As much as possible, try to avoid using Javascript for showing location information.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Announces Upgraded Schema Support by

4 thoughts on “Google Announces Upgraded Schema Support”

  1. Mike: It appears to me to be an important announcement. I wonder if the schema data will overlap with the knowledge box/ organic/ and Local? Could better data from the knowledge box flow into the local algo and serve to enhance or correct situations where there is duplicate data???

    Don’t know.

    I suspect you hit the nail on the head with this observation:

    Obviously this granular detail is useful for achieving more accuracy in Knowledge Graph answer boxes.

    They do need to get that information correct. Otherwise it will be a ad trip down memory lane with the earlier days of local wherein bad and mixed up data often showed. So much of that has been corrected. It would be sad to see the contact information become seriously corrupted “AGAIN” only this time in the knowledge box.

    I guess we’ll see.

  2. Eagerly awaiting call tracking numbers to be supported…. they’re so close! But maybe behind the scenes they’re not as close as I would like to think….

  3. Hey Mike,

    We added the Contact Point schema to the customer service phone number on our contact page, but for some reason we are still seeing the incorrect phone number displayed in the knowledge graph when users search “[our brand] customer service”.

    Any clue why this might be? We are even seeing the incorrect number displayed in the info card about our brand!

  4. @Joe
    Because Google thinks that they have a more authoritative number. Usually these come from 1)your website 2)Upsteam data providers like InfoUSA or Acxiom or 3)Elsewhere on the internet

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