Google has introduced a new type of schema markup for displaying data tables directly in search results.
This markup is intended to be utilized in news articles by data journalists. Although it can be used on any dataset, regardless of the publisher.
Some examples of what qualifies as a dataset, according to Google, are:
- A table or a CSV file with some data
- An organized collection of tables
- A file in a proprietary format that contains data
- A collection of files that together constitute some meaningful dataset
- A structured object with data in some other format that you might want to load into a special tool for processing
- Images capturing data
- Files relating to machine learning, such as trained parameters or neural network structure definitions
- Anything that looks like a dataset to you
Google aims to make data easier to discover, as well as make it clear to searchers that an article or document contains a potentially useful dataset.
It’s not easy for Google to detect and understand tables of data, so it’s up to site owners to communicate which information is most useful by utilizing the new dataset markup.
“It works like this: news organizations that publish data in the form of tables can add additional structured data to make the dataset parts of the page easier to identify for use in relevant Search features.”
Google says it has already begun working with 30 of the top data journalists in the world in an effort to implement this structured data markup.
One of the participants is ProPublica, who claims that adding the markup “trivial” compared to its potential usefulness.
For more information about how to implement dataset structured markup, see Google’s developer documentation.
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