Google has updated it’s events function in search. The udpate adds features that will allow more details about more events to be shown to consumers. This may allow more ticket sellers and event creators to have their sites featured. The Events structured data is more important now than ever.
What is Event Structured Data?
Event structured data communicates information about an event. It is commonly communicated with a script called, JSON-LD.
This is a list of the most important data to include in Schema.org Structured Data:
- Name of event
- Start and end time of event
- Description of event
- Information about tickets and prices
Opportunity to Communicate More
The Event search will show more information about events. This means it is up to you to submit as much information as possible through valid Schema.org structured data.
“When you search on your phone for things like “events near me” or “free concert” in the U.S., you’ll not only find a list of events from a variety of sites, but also key information about the event, right on Search.”
The Events Search will show multiple ticket sellers and save event location web pages. If you are a ticket seller and/or an event location, it’s important to get the schema.org structured data markup right.
Google’s Developers Page for Events
Google has a developers page with guidelines for Events structured data markup.
The page has helpful tips for the kind of information Google would like you to provide. But it also warns not to spam the events listings by listing things that are not actual events, including sales or services as events.
Here’s the warning about spam:
•Don’t promote non-event products or services such as “Trip package: San Diego/LA, 7 nights” as events.
•Don’t add short-term discounts or purchase opportunities, such as: “Concert — buy your tickets now,” or “Concert – 50% off until Saturday.”
•Don’t mark business hours as events, such as: “Adventure park open 8 AM to 5PM.”
•Don’t mark coupons or vouchers as events, such as: “5% off your first order.”
Official Schema.org Page for Event
The official Schema.org page for Event is important to visit. It lists the official list of properties you can use to describe your event.
Knowing all the options available will allow you to communicate the best and most comprehensive information about your event. Google may or may not use all of it. However, I believe it’s best to be comprehensive and err on giving too much detail than not enough. If Google does not use certain information, then there’s likely no harm in that.
Google’s Requirements for Events Markup
Schema.org provides official support for specific types of events, such as BusinessEvent, ComedyEvent and other specific kinds of events. But for enhanced search results, Google only supports the Event structured data markup.
You can use more specific markup. But Google’s developer page explicitly states that they will only consider the Event structured data markup for inclusion in their enhanced search results.
Here is Google’s Guidance:
The following properties are required for your structured data to display in search results. Any event missing the required fields will not be considered for enhanced Search results. In your JSON-LD, set the @context to “http://schema.org/” and @type to “Event”. For example:
About More Specific Event Markup
Schema.org hosts official markup for specific kinds of events. But Google doesn’t use this markup for inclusion in their enhanced search results. Using the more specific Events structured data markup will have no benefit within the context of enhanced search results.
It’s an open question if it will benefit a website to use these more specific versions of markup within another context. For example, a calendar of events where the site is not selling tickets or hosting the event may be able to use more specific markup in order to better communicate what an event is.
A site hosting a calendar of events does not belong in the enhanced results, so it is possible that using the more specific event types may help communicate to Google what a page is about. If that’s the case, then these specific Event markups may be useful. But it’s not clear at this time.
Here is a list of more specific structured data that is official and in the core of Schema.org
Takeaway: Enhanced Events Can Help Local Businesses
Any entity hosting an event stands to benefit. A business hosting a class in their store can gain an enhanced listing for their event, like a class or lecture. As long as the event is an actual event and not a sales event, the event can be listed on Google.
Thus, a market can host a weekly cooking event and have it listed in Google. A craft store can host a jewelry making class and have that listed. A sports equipment store can host a lecture.
Anything you do that can build awareness and goodwill for your business and help the business increase sales. The key is to stay within Google’s guidelines.
Read the official announcement at Google, Set Your Summer Schedule with Events in Search
Official Google Developer guidance for Event structured data
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