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What is the Easiest Structured Data?

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What is the Easiest Structured Data?

A poll on Twitter sought to answer the question, what is the best form of structured data? The two popular forms schema markup.  One that marks up the HTML. The other is a script (JSON-LD) that can be dropped in like a meta tag or a JavaScript.

What is the Easiest Structured Data?

By far, the most popular form of structured data was JSON-LD. What makes it easy to use is that it can be easily scaled.

Screenshot of a Twitter pollA poll on Twitter sought to answer which kind of structured data was easiest?

If you’re using a PHP based CMS, you can easily use PHP code fragments to insert whatever you want into a JSON-LD structured data template. This makes it easy to integrate into WordPress or any other PHP based CMS.

A downside is that it is a new language to learn. However, unlike other computing and markup languages, there aren’t a lot of rules to memorize. Once you understand the basic rules as well as Google’s Structured Data Guidelines, almost anything is possible.

Despite those advantages, one Twitter user shared that in their opinion JSON-LD is difficult to scale and that they preferred marking up the HTML code using Schema microdata:

“My challenge with JSON-LD is that it’s hard to automate and hard to make sure there’s content parity between the JSON & the content on the page, so I’d rather just mark up the HTML, and use the semantics of the HTML to guide the semantics of the structured data.”

Another person stated the opposite, that adding markup to HTML is more difficult than adding a JSON-LD script to a page.

“Well – i don’t like merging data and HTML because later changes are PITA. And when there are teams for each part this later went to endless-make-tickets-to-someone-who-is-responsible (designers, devs, content writers, seo, managers).”

John Henshaw observed that both ways had their benefits and drawbacks.

“The learning curve for microdata is easier because they’re HTML attributes, but it’s much more difficult to maintain. JSON-LD can seem intimidating at first, but is actually easier to implement and maintain once you figure out its structure. It’s also easier to automate on WP.”

screenshot of a tweet by Jon Henshaw

I agree with that assessment. While JSON-LD is a little more difficult to understand than the microdata, in my opinion it’s less difficult to learn than HTML. And the benefit of JSON-LD is that it’s easier to scale.

Read the Twitter poll here.

More Resources

Images by Shutterstock, Modified by Author
Screenshots by Author, Modified by Author

 

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Roger Montti

Roger Montti is an SEO consultant & web publisher with nearly 20 years experience. He offers Site Audits for ranking ... [Read full bio]

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