Implemented Markup improvements for Google


Hi, my name is Ryan Levering and I currently handle structured data ingestion at Google (this guy). I've been doing some fairly spontaneous spot checks (not based on any specific problem) of some of the major forum software markups on the web just to see whether the markup is being generated in an ideal way for our systems to ingest. You can stick a URL in to get an idea of what your markup for a given URL looks like. I have a couple of high-level suggestions to take or leave as you see fit:
  1. Include more than the OP with "" nodes through a "" property. We're trying to normalize the forum markup space to use DiscussionForumPosting for the OP and attach Comment typed markup for the replies in a flat list (or threaded if you are a threaded forum). Without that, it makes it harder to segment the rest of the page appropriately in our index.
  2. Co-typing WebPage and DiscussionForumPosting like you do is going to confuse our ingestion a bit. If you squint it's not that inaccurate, but it would be clearer to either have WebPage (separate node) -> mainEntity -> DiscussionForumPosting or DiscussionForumPosting -> mainEntityOfPage -> WebPage (separate node). A co-typed self-cycle needs to be detected specially often.
  3. Include profile URLs in your author -> Person nodes. Raw names are not nearly as useful for disambiguation.
There's a couple other smaller things, but those are the things that would improve the markup the most. Note also you don't need to use JSON-LD if you are worried about duplicating contents/page size. Microdata is fine for text/content-heavy schema (though can be harder to author/inject).
Upvote 41
This suggestion has been implemented. Votes are no longer accepted.
Can anyone tell me how to implement the:

Comment -> mainEntity to Comment -> parentItem change?

I checked a couple Fora communities and they have indeed already done this. It could be why one of their communities is suddenly ranking higher than mine after Years of being below. Coincidently, Google is the only search that is suddenly ranking them higher.

All I need is the code, template/file to update and where to stick it. I don’t mind at all being a Guinea pig 🐗
You can just search mainEntity in the templates and replace it with parentItem. There should only be one occurrence.

Schema does not have any direct impact on ranking, and invalid schema does not hurt ranking.
Appreciate the quick reply! I searched templates for mainEntity and could not locate any instance of it, either in the style being used, or the default Xenforo style templates. Strange, but what template should it be in? Running 2.2.12.
So after updating to patch 2... I got this message from Google search console.

Search Console has identified that your site is affected by 1 Q&A structured data issue(s). The following issues were found on your site. We recommend that you fix these issues when possible to enable the best experience and coverage in Google Search.

Top non-critical issues‡
Missing field 'text' (in 'mainEntity')

‡Non-critical issues are suggestions for improvement, but do not prevent the page or feature from appearing on Google. Some of these issues can affect your appearance on Search; some might be reclassified as critical issues in the future.

Just wondering if this is something specific to my install or others are getting the same message. Before update, this particular section had zero issues.
Top Bottom