Will I Get Penalized With Event Markup?

Event markup is a great way to showcase upcoming events for your business in search results and Google maps.  Businesses can markup all types of events including performances by famous artists, neighborhood salsa classes, cooking classes, and more; the possibilities are endless. Not only will this allow you to better show events in search results, it is another avenue to promote your brand and generate traffic to your website.

The Warning

While it is encouraged to use this markup for these purposes, there is some word of caution. Google is warning publishers not to use the event markup in a misleading way to searchers. If Google deems that you are misleading searchers with this markup, they can remove the ability for your website to show rich snippets in search results.

Who is Being Targeted?

Google has been targeting publishers in the coupons/vouchers space as the culprits that lead to this warning. These publishers would markup their offers or discounts with event markup code. Google stated that “using event markup to describe something that is not an event creates a bad user experience, by triggering a rich result or something that will happen at a particular time, despite no actual event being present.” An example of that would be a rich snippet reading “September 10-15 20% Off School Supplies” example.com.”

The Penalty

Once the search engine has deemed your website of misleading searchers with event markup, they will issue a manual action. By getting this manual action you can expect a demotion in ranking, delisting on search results completely, or result in structured data markup for your whole website not being used in search results.

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