We’re often asked how to check the accuracy of your schema markup once it has been implemented. The answer actually depends on whether you want to assess the validity of your markup, or the impact it’s having on site performance. Assuming you want to know both, this article breaks down which tools to use, and how to use them.
Has my schema markup successfully deployed?
The first step is to make sure that your markup is on the page. If you are copying and pasting the JSON-LD into the page, you can simply right click on the web page, view source and search within the elements tab for “LD+JSON” to see if the code is there. If you are using Schema App or Google Tag Manager to deploy your code, it’s easier to use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool (SDTT), which is going to be replaced with the Schema Markup Validator (SMV), to see if the markup is present. (Read on for instructions on how to use the SDTT.)
Alternatively, you can wait and check within Google Search Console to report on the rich results or features tied to certain structured data. This could take anywhere from a few days up to a month, depending on how regularly Google crawls your site.
Are there any errors in the implementation?
It’s very important that you check your schema markup so you can be sure that it is working hard behind the scenes for your website! While you are waiting for the Google Search Console results to appear, there are a variety of tools that allow you to check for any errors or warnings that your markup may be generating.
Structured Data Testing Tool (SDTT)
Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool is the fastest and easiest to read. You can either input a URL or copy and paste a code snippet, and it will show all of the schema markup in an easy-to-read format in the field on the right side of the screen. Once you’ve run the test, you can click on any one of the detected entities to see the corresponding JSON-LD in the field on the left side of the screen. It will also show any errors and warnings in your markup so that you can make adjustments if needed.
There are a couple of things about the SDTT that are worth calling out. First, the tool often caches versions of your page. This means that if you are actively making changes to your markup, the latest markup may not be tested. To overcome this, simply click on new test, and paste the new JSON-LD or microdata into the tool.
In addition to caching, the SDTT is no longer being maintained, so you may see some erroneous errors (e.g. for Logo URLs that are, in fact, valid). Google recently announced that the tool will live on as the “schema.org validator”, and will be hosted and maintained by Schema.org come April 2021. Until then, this tool should be supplemented with the Rich Results testing tool to ensure you’re catching any significant errors that could impact search appearance.
Schema Markup Validator (SMV)
The Schema Markup Validator went live May 2021, and is going to replace Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Google originally intended the Rich Results Testing Tool to replace the SDTT, but following backlash about this change Google decided to incorporate validation tooling into Schema.Org to support SEOs as they test their structured data.
The Schema Markup Validator is based on the Google Structured Data Testing Tool. The service, provided by Google for the Schema.Org community, can validate Schema.Org based structured data embedded in web pages, otherwise known as schema markup. The SMV has the ability to extract JSON-LD, RDFa, and Microdata markup, display a summary of the extracted structured data, and identify syntax mistakes in the markup.
Rich Results Testing Tool (RRTT)
The Rich Results Testing Tool supports all rich result features, and is most closely aligned with Google Search Console. This tool lists all the rich results one page may be eligible for, and—in some instances—shows you a preview of how your rich result could appear in the SERP.
It’s important to remember that the Rich Results testing tool only validates schema.org types that are eligible for rich results in search. If you’re using types that aren’t eligible for rich results, you can view the “raw” JSON-LD, to ensure it’s being crawled, but that’s it.
If you want a comprehensive view of all markup on a page, rather than only the types that are eligible for rich results, this tool is best used in tandem with other testing tools
Schema App’s Analyzer
The Schema App Analyzer validates markup site-wide, for up to 10K pages. Run the Analyzer on any site and it will discover JSON-LD, RDFa and microdata, even when loaded dynamically. Once the site has been crawled, the Analyzer provides a comprehensive health report in the form of a data visualization, and a list of Items Analyzed by Type. Clicking “Show Details” for a specific item presents a list of each URL containing that item, and a breakdown of any errors or warnings.
Since this tool validates schema.org syntax, it follows more stringent rules. These can guide your schema markup beyond just the requirements of Google features.
The Schema App Analyzer identifies markup that Google won’t be able to read as a result of site speed issues. If you see errors or warnings about “missing” properties that definitely exist on your page, you should investigate site speed to make sure all your markup is visible to search engine crawlers.
Ultimately, this tool provides a micro and macro view of the overall health of your markup, pointing out what should be revisited for enhanced performance.
The Analyzer is available to all Schema App subscribers from Pro through to Enterprise.
Note: Be on the lookout for imminent changes to the Analyzer, as we are readying reports to provide new ways of understanding your Schema Markup:
- Schema Markup by Type
- Schema Markup by Error / Warning
- Schema Markup by Page Path
- Schema Markup by Google Feature
Moreover, an updated user flow and a historical view of your data will show how your markup is trending over time.
Schema App’s Structured Data Tester
The Schema App Structured Data Tester can be found in the “Maintenance” tab in Schema App. Enter any URL, and this tool will display the schema markup found on that page. It is the only testing tool that displays dynamic schema.org data and does not cache the results. Having a testing tool integrated within Schema App improves your markup workflow so you don’t always have to go to another site to test your markup.
Getting into the habit of using at least one of these tools when authoring your markup is highly recommended. Not only will it confirm whether it has deployed correctly, but it will also give you an idea of the scope of your markup, which will allow you to assess its accuracy.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is an excellent tool for monitoring both whether your markup is valid, and the impact that it’s having on site performance. For more information about using Google Search Console, check out our article How to Measure the Impact of Structured Data.
There are plenty of helpful tools out there to gauge whether your markup is working. If you’re interested in learning more, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!