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Choosing Between JSON-LD or Microformat For Structured Data

Structured data and schema mark up code have become more of an importance in the SEO world in recent years. This is because Google is trying to make its search engine a one-stop destination for all information. With the addition of rich snippets, knowledge graph, and answer blocks appearing on search results pages, webmasters now have another tool to help their website rank. This new tool is in the form of structured data and schema markup, which is to properly tell Google of certain data about your business and information on your website. This is especially important if you want to showcase important dates or events you want searchers to know about when they search for your business. You can also add schema to products (e-commerce), menu items, etc.

When it comes to structured data and schema mark up code, there are a few different formats to use. These formats are JSON-LD and Microformat, and while they are both widely used across the web the question begs; is there a preference that Google recommends when it comes to mark-up code formatting? Let’s dive in to learn about each format and which Google prefers.

What is JSON-LD?

JSON-LD is a type of script language that allows webmasters and publishers to communicate important information to search engines. When it comes to data for a website, it can get messy and JSON-LD organizes and connects it so it is machine-readable data across the site for search engines like Google and Bing to display correctly in search results and online. JSON-LD is easy to add, remove, and update on a website making it a preferred method for most webmasters.

What is Microformat Structured Data?

Microformat structured data communicate the same type of information that JSON-LD does but it is written differently on websites. This type of schema markup code is embedded within the HTML of a website, which could complicate the addition and removal of the data when updating the website.

Which Type of Structured Data Does Google Prefer?

In a recent webmaster hangout session, Google’s John Mueller answers the question of which structured data type does Google generally prefer when scanning websites with schema code on it. His response:

“We currently prefer JSON-LD markup. I think most of the new structured data that are kind of come out for JSON-LD first. So that’s what we prefer.”

With this in mind, webmasters should start making the change to JSON-LD if they already have structured data on their website. If you don’t have any data on your website currently, then you should probably consider using it as it is a focus area for SEO for this year.

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