Schema Testing and Google

Schema Testing Tool Affected By Changes At Google

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As a webmaster we get used to Google making changes. But, you never know what you might run into down the line. Recent changes to Recipes pages seems to have had some effect on other pages and Schema Markup. More specifically Schema that has been implemented via Google Tag Manager(GTM). It seems that Schema being applied as javascript in a tag is not being seen by the Google Structured Data Testing Tool(GSDTT) when testing via URL. When applying markup for SEO purposes this can be an issue.

Why Google, Why?

Google made the changes back in early May. This is around the time I noticed some issues arising. From what was found online Google was rather quiet about the changes. Not that they were silent about it but, they did not really announce it in an elaborate way. The changes that affected Schema via GTM were most likely not intentional. But, it may or may not be a real issue. After all, we are only talking about a “testing tool” right.

Google Tag Manager with Schema Tags
Schema Tags in GTM
Schema as json testing ok
Code tested as a script and working.

The New Google Testing Tool

At the same time, Google is rolling out a new testing tool, the Rich Results Test. This tool is still in the beta stages and is not fully functional with all Schema as of yet. Hopefully we will see and hear more about this tool for webmasters. Until Google fixes what ever seems to be wrong with the GSDTT, Schema applied via GTM may continue to not show up correctly when testing. So, what do we do until then? Remember it is only a testing tool. We have a few other options out there.

Rich Results Testing Tool for Schema Testing
New Rich Results Testing Tool From Google.

Other Schema Testing Options

One of the better working options I have found in the last few weeks was an extension for Google Chrome. Simply enough it is called the Structured Data Testing Tool. It comes from and seems to work well for the time. Around 95% of the Schema I tested with this extension shows up. There is also the options of Bing and Yandex, and there are surely others out there. Nothing wrong with either of them, in fact you should probably be using them already. But, let’s face it. Some do it for the lulz, we do it for Google. And the client, but Google too.

Schema Testing Extension

With that said, the best thing to do is make sure Google Search Console can see your Schema. As we stated before, all the things we mentioned above are tools. What matters is whether or not Google can see the Schema being applied no matter how it is being put in there. A big part of GTM is the fact that it makes it rather easy to apply custom code to a website without having to modify that site. If GSC can see the Schema from GTM I feel we can relax until we see an update on the GSDTT.

Final Thoughts

For now, you can still test code snippets to test tags. But, the tags may not show up when testing the URL. Use the preview mode in GTM to confirm tags are firing. If tags fire and code snippets tested ok then GSC should see the Schema. The process of creating and deploying tags via GTM has not changed to my knowledge.

It has worked great for a long time and from what I can tell is still working. The issue is with the Google Structured Data Testing Tool and whatever changes Google has made. Use the extension to test Schema via the URL, or use your prefered tool. Either way keep a close eye on Google Search Console and Schema until we hear from the wizards at Google.