When John Mueller from Google told us that “new types will be introduced”, we were not expecting them to drop five new structured data features in the span of six weeks.
On November 29, 2023, Google announced they expanded their markup support for organization details. This means they’re using more properties from Schema.org’s Organization type to showcase the relevant information on Google’s knowledge panels and other visual elements such as Attribution.
What You Need To Know About Organization Structured Data
Organization Structured Data is used to describe an organization (like a corporation, NGO, or school). It is often added to a website’s home page or about page since these pages tend to contain important information about an organization.
However, this update expands the number of properties that Google will support for the Organization type. In addition to logo and url, Google recommends web publishers use properties such as:
As part of this update, Google has also merged the documentation for Logo structured data with the Organization structured data feature guide. You can test your Organization structured data using Google’s Rich Results Test to determine if your markup is valid for the associated rich result.
Do you need to add all the recommended properties for Organization structured data? Probably not.
Most of the recommended properties are pretty straightforward. However, certain recommended properties, in particular, the identifier properties – iso6523Code, duns, leiCode, naics, globalLocationNumber, vatID, and taxID – may not be present on your website since they aren’t usually relevant to website visitors.
It is a general structured data best practice to only add Schema Markup for content that exists on the page itself. However, identifiers, like the ones listed above aren’t typically something that users visiting your site would be looking for.
Conversely, Google can use this information to consolidate the various identifiers as a single Organization entity in their Knowledge Graph. In cases like this, the content of these properties does not have to be visible to users on your website for you to add them in your markup.
Google is more strict about the visibility of content for rich results like Products and Review Snippets, which are more prone to fraudulent representation that can undermine consumer trust. However, metadata like identifiers is more critical for Google’s semantic understanding of entities than for the visual representation in the SERPs.
What you get from implementing Organization structured data
Adding Organization markup to your site will make it eligible to be shown on knowledge panels like the new merchant knowledge panel or other visual elements like Attribution. That way, users can easily find accurate information about your organization on Google.
Historically, the knowledge panels that appear on the right side of the SERP feed off data from Google’s knowledge graph and other sources like Wikipedia and authoritative websites. But with this update, Google can now tap into your structured data to provide users with even more accurate information about your organization.
The information in your Organization markup is arguably more accurate than an external source like Wikipedia because your organization owns the website and controls the information that appears there. Your structured data should be a trustworthy source, provided it is descriptive and up-to-date.
Structured Data to Reflect More E-E-A-T
These recent rich result updates underline Google’s ongoing prioritization of high-quality content from authoritative and trustworthy sources. Particularly at a time when AI-generated content is becoming more widespread, evidence of trustworthiness and reputation for the Organizations and People authoring and publishing content is paramount.
The Discussion Forum documentation states that markup for this type is used in features like Discussions and Forums and Perspectives, the latter of which surfaces “hidden gems” of unique expertise on a topic from those hard-to-find places.
Both the Profile Page and Discussion Forum structured data documentation include recommended properties for InteractionCounter to indicate things like the number of other accounts being followed, the number of likes of other entities’ posts, and the number of posts for a Person or Organization. These are properties that humans often reference when gauging the authority or trustworthiness of a source, so it would make sense that Google would want simplified access to this information in the form of structured data as well.
Google’s documentation for Article structured data now also recommends marking up author pages with profile page structured data.
This indicates two things:
- Google wants more information about authors connected to the articles they write
- Google is consuming structured data from multiple URLs about those authors
In essence, high-quality content from trusted sources is much more effective for keeping users happy with the search results they receive, but it’s also effective for training AI. Whether Google is focusing on advancing in the AI field, or trying to get a handle on the wild west of AI content proliferating on the web, it’s logical for them to encourage the application of structured data for types and properties that contribute to this effort.
In the October Google Search News Update, John Mueller recommended that SEOs “use a CMS hosting platform or plugin that makes it easy for you to add and remove structured data” to save time and make quick changes.
All these updates further demonstrate how important it is to have an agile structured data solution to stay ahead of your competitors. Furthermore, it is equally crucial to implement your structured data correctly and keep it up-to-date with Google’s changing requirements. This significantly impacts how Google understands your organization as an entity and how the information about your organization shows up in the SERP.
With the right expertise and agility to implement structured data on your site, you can leverage these new structured data opportunities to control how your brand is represented on the SERP and improve the search engine’s understanding of your content for more relevant search results.
Jasmine is the Product Manager at Schema App. Schema App is an end-to-end Schema Markup solution that helps enterprise SEO teams create, deploy and manage Schema Markup to stand out in search.