Bing is now using a new type of structured data markup for special announcements related specifically to COVID-19.
This new markup is designed for announcements such as:
- Special hours and closures for local businesses.
- Information on risk assessment and testing centers.
- Travel restrictions and guidelines.
Here’s more information about each of these types of announcements and their corresponding markup.
‘Special Announcement’ markup for COVID-19 related business updates
SpecialAnnouncement markup has been developed by Schema.org specifically for urgent announcements related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bing may display special announcements from local businesses, hospitals, schools, government offices, pharmacies, and other entities that use the SpecialAnnouncement schema.org structured data.
Multiple pieces of information can be communicated with the SpecialAnnouncement markup. Schema.org recommends including these properties at the very least:
- Expires (if applicable)
See below for all other possible properties that can be included:
‘Disease spread statistics’ markup for government health agencies
Government health agencies at the country, state/province, administrative area, and city level can mark up their statistics with the diseaseSpreadStatistics markup, which is associated with the SpecialAnnouncement markup.
Bing uses this markup to pull in data for its new COVID-19 tracking map, as well as other searches for COVID-19 statistics.
See: Bing Launches an Interactive COVID-19 Tracking Map
Government agencies can determine whether or not to use this markup on their web pages by considering whether it meets the following criteria:
- The site must be the official government site reporting case statistics for its region.
- The information in the markup must be up-to-date and consistent with statistics displayed to the general public.
- The special announcement must include the date it was posted, indicating the time at which the statistics were first reported.
Bing notes this is the criteria it also considers when selecting case studies to include in its COVID-19 tracking website.
Markup for risk assessment and testing centers
Healthcare providers and government health agencies publishing information about risk assessments and testing centers can use two new types of markup: gettingTestedInfo and CovidTestingFacility.
Bing may use this markup to display more details when people search for nearby testing information; such as how to get assessed and how to locate a nearby testing facility.
Bing uses the following criteria when selecting testing information to display:
- The site must be an official site for a well-known healthcare facility or government health agency.
- The gettingTestedInfo markup must refer to a webpage that specifies what assessment is required prior to being tested at the given testing location.
- The testing facility information must refer to URLs and facility locations already associated with the provider or agency. Listing other providers’ facilities is not supported.
Markup for travel restrictions
Government agencies, travel agencies, airlines, hotels, and other travel providers publishing information about travel restrictions can use two new types of markup: travelBans and publicTransportClosuresInfo.
This markup is used to provide more details on updated hours, closures, and guidelines for travel.
Bing uses the following criteria when selecting travel restrictions to display:
- The site must be an official site for a well-known government agency, travel agency, airline, hotel, or other travel provider.
- The location must be specific for travel ban or public transport closure.
- The name of the special announcement must be easily identified within the body of the web page describing the ban or closure info.
- The special announcement must include the date it was posted and the time it expires (if applicable).
More information on how to implement and use these tags can be found at Schema.org.
Source: Bing Blog