Structured Data Google Penalties – 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Why Structured Data is Important

Structured data allows search engines to crawl as well as analyse your site in a proper and correct manner. Search engines often find it tough to manage/handle web page content and face problems in decoding it easily. That, along with errors in data implementation may lead to a loss of ranking.

Structured Data Penalties

common structured data penalties

There are clear instructions or Google guidelines regarding structured data and any mistake with them can cause structured data penalties. Spam penalties may also take place and that’s why it’s important to know the mistakes and avoid the penalties. It’s always a good idea to add structured data but the only issue is their wrong implementation. Not following the guidelines from Google can result in structured data penalties and that’s why you need to know how mistakes do happen and how to avoid them again.

Let’s look at some of common structured data Google mistakes that you need to avoid;

  1. Using inappropriate structured data

If you want to avoid penalties with structured data, the easiest way is then to simply do it right, right from the start. If you know how to avoid using inappropriate data, you could well avoid being penalized by Google for sure. Make sure that the structured data is used where or for what it’s actually meant for – you can’t use the one meant for product for service. This may not look a big deal, but Google does penalize sites that do indulge in these little mistakes with their structured data. So, use the data as it is supposed to and avoid penalties. 

  1. Mismatch between structured data and page content

You may be penalized if the structured data you have used does not match with the page content. This mismatch, whether a mistake or a deliberate act, can definitely incite a Google penalty for your site. You just can’t tweak the information or create any sort of deviation to its original intent or message when it’s posted on the pages and visible to the users. You just can’t use different data and show something else to the user as it will be a clear violation of the Google standard guidelines for which penalties can happen. 

  1. Not following guidelines for specific data

Yes, it’s true that not following the standard guidelines for specific data may also lead to Google penalties. Such issues generally crop up in reading the developer page that has specific data types. It may also lead to manual penalty which you’d always want to avoid. That’s why it’s essential to double check the Google developer pages to understand what is worthy of use and what is correct. Plus, it won’t take more than a few minutes to read one of the developer pages meant to the specific content type you want to publish. 

  1. Not reviewing the general guidelines of structured data

There are standard guidelines to not only for specific data types but also for the use of structured data. And if you did not review them properly, it might lead to Google penalties for sure. The policies and rules thus mentioned regarding the use of data must be reviewed so that you always get on the right side. In some cases, the structured data you use may not be correct despite being validated by Google’s testing tool for the same. That’s why you should first try to know the guidelines of structured data before benefiting from their use.

  1. Not being ethical with the use of structured data

Using shortcuts or not being ethical with the structured data may also lead to Google penalties. This kind of situation mostly arises where dubious data is used in place of the actual content of structured data to gain visitors. Penalties may also happen for hiding the schema of the page, reviews and stars. So, you need to show them as marked-up to avoid penalties. You can trust a top digital marketing company to stay true with the use of structured data for any situation. 

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