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Google Introduces Data Highlighter For Event Data

 6:58 pm on Dec 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

At Google we're making more and more use of structured data to provide enhanced search results, such as rich snippets and event calendars, that help users find your content. Until now, marking up your site's HTML code has been the only way to indicate structured data to Google. However, we recognize that markup may be hard for some websites to deploy.

Today, we're offering webmasters a simpler alternative: Data Highlighter. At initial launch, it's available in English only and for structured data about events, such as concerts, sporting events, exhibitions, shows, and festivals. We'll make Data Highlighter available for more languages and data types in the months ahead.

Data Highlighter is a point-and-click tool that can be used by anyone authorized for your site in Google Webmaster Tools. No changes to HTML code are required. Instead, you just use your mouse to highlight and "tag" each key piece of data on a typical event page of your websiteGoogle Introduces Data Highlighter For Event Data [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk]



 9:41 pm on Dec 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sounds to me like this tool's purpose is making your site's data more workable for Google's Knowledge Graph. Whether that's a good thing or not for the site involved is an open question. Recent implementations of the Knowledge Graph have included a significant number of links to the source website.


 11:01 pm on Dec 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Usually, 5 or 10 manually tagged pages are enough for our sophisticated machine-learning algorithms to understand the other, similar pages on your site.

If it's so sophisticated why does it need to be primed? Why can't they just unleash their sophisticated beast and get on with it instead of dreaming about it and having us teach it what to do. At any rate it will be interesting to see when they finally put this thing into production because right now their SERPs are very very far from good quality. They've had a decade to figure it out why are they stalling. Stop talking about it and just do it.


 11:38 pm on Dec 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

I should have also added that all this stuff can probably already be accomplished by implementing the schema markup tags if I'm understanding this thing properly?

So, why force yet another layer of work on top of us? And of course this will be unique to google. From what I'm seeing most other search engines are doing a fairly good job of properly finding and presenting info back to us that match our queries.

For people with large sites this would probably be a lot of work and time invested for something that will only be of use to google. Someday the search engine landscape will be level but until then I have stopped doing what Simon says.

One more point. Is it just me or is there a trend developing where google is trying to dumb things down so that anyone in a company can optimize their pages bypassing their I.T. people? Where will that lead?

Once again, no thanks google. I'll stick to hand coding my sites in ways that appeal to all engines and maybe someday in the future when you roll your algorithm that you've been working on for a decade off your development server and put it into production it might be smart enough to figure it all out.

Robert Charlton

 9:02 pm on Dec 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I should have also added that all this stuff can probably already be accomplished by implementing the schema markup tags if I'm understanding this thing properly?

So, why force yet another layer of work on top of us?

This isn't for people who can hand code their sites. This is for people who don't know what code is. It's sort of like microdata for dummies. That said, in some companies that have inhouse coding capabilities, bypassing the I.T. people might not be a bad thing.

Have you actually tried to find the date, time, and location for, say, a local event in a metro area on the web? The websites are an abomination.

It's probably optimistic of Google to think that people and organizations who need this are going to be aware of the tool or will provide enough information in sufficiently searchable form that the microdata will be helpful, but I've got to thank them for at least trying.

I have, in the last several months, run into events announcements where the only information displayed on the web was in a 1-megabyte graphic... or on an events calendar titled "events", which listed every event in a particular field of interest in San Francisco for the past two years, with no consistency about placename, address, or dates.

But even sites that should know better screw it up. Major league sports event sites often omit the year, and you're much more likely to get last week's info than next week's, or a string of article highlights for the season. Search [teamname tv] on some engines and you'll get listings for a TV episode from 1955.

When we see calls for microdata information, we may have good reason to assume that Google might be thinking about aggregating the data... probably for the same reason I generally go right to Place Pages (aka +) rather than to local websites, because at least I've got an expectation that I'll easily find the address, phone number, and hours of operation.


 10:20 pm on Dec 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Been wondering when something like this would come out. I'm sure this will be expanded into other areas to help integrate everything into the Knowledge Graph.

After all, working with schema.org or any other microdata within code is a huge pita.

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