Introduction to Google’s Data Highlighter Tool

- January 15, 2013

In the past we have covered the value of utilizing rich snippets which present search engine users with more detailed information about what is contained on the page before they click through to it. If you are unfamiliar with what rich snippets are, or the possible benefits from using them, take a look at two of our blog posts that cover the subject:

Now that you are familiar with rich snippets, it’s important to keep up to date with resources and tools that can make you or your web team more efficient. It is in this interest that Google has released the Data Highlighter Tool. This tool allows you to tag the data fields on your website using a mouse and does not require any coding. Currently, only event data is able to be marked up using the Data Highlighter, but Google says that more data types will be supported soon!

Event data that can be marked up includes:

  • Name — The event name.
  • Date — The date, date and time, or date range of the event.
  • Location — The venue name and address of the event.
  • Image — An image describing the event.
  • Official URL — The URL to the official website of the event.
  • Category — The category of the event.
  • Performer — A performer in the event.
  • Ticket offer — A description of the price information and the price of admission.

Additionally, it is important to note that the data highlighter can only be used on pages that have been recently crawled by their spider Googlebot. One easy way to see if the page has been crawled is to check to see if Google has a recent cached version of the page. This can be accomplished by:

  • Copying the specific URL of the page you want to check
  • Typing cache: and then pasting the URL after the colon

For example –

If Google has a recently crawled and cached version of the page, the page will load with a box near the top that looks similar to the following screen grab:

This tool will be expanded by Google in the near future to support more types of structured data, but if you are more eager to learn about it now, visit the Google’s Data Highlighter page here:  

Do you see this as being an easier or more efficient way to mark up the structured data of your website? A more detailed post on how to use Google’s Data Highlighter will follow this one, so check back with our SEO blog to learn more.

You Might Also Like:

  1. How to Use Google’s Data Highlighter | The Basics | The Search Engine Optimization Blog @ MoreVisibility
  2. Tools for Implementing and Testing Structured Data Markup | SEO Blog – MoreVisibility

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