News Courtesy of Yoast.com:
Structured data, recipes and Google Home
Google is betting big on voice search. While voice search is still in its infancy, there are signs that we are moving towards a future where we are relying much less on our screens. There are many instances where talking to your digital assistant makes much more sense than typing commands. What’s more, the AI in digital assistants will become smarter and more apt at entering into a natural dialogue with you. We’re talking about a real natural language interface here.
A lot is going on right now. Take for instance that Google Duplex demo, showing a digital assistant calling a hairdresser to make an appointment. Joost wrote a post about Google Duplex and the ethics and implications. If AI is this smart, we need to take note.
To get voice search and actions to work, Google relies on structured data. Structured data makes it immediately clear what all the different parts of a page mean so search engines can use that to do cool stuff with. Google Actions, the big database featuring things you can let Assistant do, uses structured data. For instance, here is Google’s page on recipe actions — which is the same as the regular structured data for recipes documentation. If you want to learn all about structured data, please read our Ultimate Guide to Structured Data.
This is interesting. I started implementing structured data along with rich snippets about a year ago. The value of having your page stand out from the rest of the organic results is too great to pass on. Since schema supports so many different types of pages, you can emphasize your content in a variety of ways. My favorite, of course, is the review schema. When a user sees a star rating next to a page or post it can immediately draw their attention. That separation from other results should improve your click-through ratio among search query impressions. It’s like giving a preview of the review. Is the product/service good or bad? You’ll get a glimpse depending on that rating.
While I’m not a fan of voice assistants, I can’t deny their ever-growing popularity. It makes sense for Google to intertwine their assistant with search features. What’s more, is that I can see the value of a person in their kitchen searching for recipes and having the ingredients and/or steps read back to them. Since schema makes that possible, not only do you get the visual benefit in the search results but now also the advantage of being communicated verbally to searchers.
So what does the future hold? I can certainly see it expanding to other schema formats. It may be as simple as issuing a command such as: “Find me critical reviews of iphone x”. The result would be a list of the top three 1-2 star reviews for the device. That’s just one example. So even though I personally don’t use these assistants, it would be foolish to dismiss their potential value of increasing your website’s exposure.