Structured data has no impact on ranking in web search


Google chief researcher Danny Sullivan says structured data is optional and has no impact on search rankings.

While it always has been, Sullivan reiterated his point after controversy sparked over a misunderstanding that structured data is necessary to rank well in Google search.


This week, a food blogger tweeted that she had received a notice from Google that structured data for calorie counts should be added to recipes. The blogger felt that not including structured calorie count data would cause her content to be missing from search results.


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It is stated in the Google review that adding calories was only a suggestion, not a requirement. However, the blogger’s tweet exploded and misinformation spread, leading others to believe what she said was true.

Related: What is schema markup and why is it important for SEO

Google’s response

Controversy sparked by blogger’s tweet caught Google’s attention, as did Sullivan responded in order to clear up the misunderstanding. Sullivan later published a tweet thread through the official Google search link account to address the situation in more detail.


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“Yesterday, a concern was raised that calorie information was needed for recipes to be included or ranked for Google search. This is not the case. Moreover, structured data like this- these have no impact on web search rankings. This thread has more, we hope, allays the concerns …

Content owners can provide structured data in the form of optional way to improve their webpage listings. This has no impact on the ranking. Using it can simply help pages that are already ranking high appear more appealing to potential visitors.

Related: How important is structured data in SEO?

Sullivan goes on to say that structured data can be used to improve a research snippet and perhaps make it more appealing to researchers. But, again, it’s not mandatory.

Sullivan concedes that the wording of the notice that was sent to the blogger could have been clearer. Google will revise the wording of Search Console notices to avoid these types of issues in the future.

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