One SEO professional asked John during a recent hangout about Schema markup. They work with a large healthcare provider in the US – basically, they are in the top 5 healthcare companies.
They have thousands of providers in hundreds of locations. So the SEO pro is building out Schema, and they are doing it exactly like it should be done.
They are doing symptoms, treatment, health insurance that’s accepted, everything like that. They are building it out and testing it in the Schema validator.
However, when they go to the Rich Results Test on Google, it doesn’t validate when they go to Google Search Console.
It’s not showing.
So they are guessing it’s wrong. But they are building it to a tool they thought was going to be correct.
Their main question is: what should they be doing to get this Schema markup to validate?
John explained that there are two main things that play a role here.
On the one hand, the validator on Schema.org is set up to validate all kinds of theoretical Schemas that you can provide with Schema.org. It’s basically a “superset” of all functionality that’s available, and not something that would necessarily validate on Google.
The validator in Search Console is based purely on functionality that has visible changes in Google Search.
And that’s usually a very small subset of the bigger Schema.org set of things that you can mark up. For example, if you’re marking things up that don’t have a visible effect in the search results in terms of maybe – shows, stars, or shows a video or something like that – then this would be something where Search Console would say, Well I don’t see anything here..
This might fall into the category that the SEO pro is seeing there.
The other thing that sometimes plays a role regarding elements that have a visible effect is that on Schema.org, the requirements are sometimes not the same as in Google search.
So Schema.org will have some required properties and some optional properties.
And it kind of validates based on those.
But in Google Search, sometimes it has a stricter set of requirements which they have documented in their help center as well.
To say “Well, we would like to show it in this special way in the search results. And they can only do that if they have this set of information.”
From that perspective, on the one hand – if Google doesn’t show it in the search results, then they will not show it in the testing tool.
On the other hand, if the requirements are different, and Google’s requirements are stricter, and you don’t follow those guidelines, then they would also flag it as an error or warning in the testing tool.
This happens at approximately the 48:14 mark in the video.