A survey of top 10 million websites reveals that only 25.1% of websites use JSON-LD structured data. Google has expressed that JSON-LD is their preferred structured data. Using JSON-LD becomes more important as Google Assistant becomes more ubiquitous in the home and the automobile.
What is JSON-LD Structured Data?
JSON-LD structured data is a script that can be placed anywhere on a web page that communicates Schema.org structured data.
It can be placed in the head section with all the other meta data like the title tag and meta description. It can also be placed near the end of the code, near the closing body tag.
JSON-LD is superior to other methods of structured data in that it does not alter the HTML code and is easy to template and deploy across a website.
How Many Sites Use Structured Data?
The survey, performed by W3techs.com states that 46.3% of sites crawled and analyzed do not use any structured data at all.
If you add the 25.1% of sites that use JSON-LD to the 46.3% of sites that don’t use any structured data, you have a total of 71.4.
If we subtract that 71.4 from 100, we are left with 28.6%, which represents the number of sites that use a type of structured data that is not JSON-Ld.
The survey results are a little mixed because sites often use several kinds of structured data simultaneously. So the results are not exact to the percentage point.
Additionally, this is a survey of the top ten million sites as ranked by Alexa. Those sites may or may not reflect the actual state of the entire web.
Nevertheless I believe it gives a good idea of the state of the web.
This is a screenshot of the results:
JSON-LD structured data is what Google prefers. JSON-LD is becoming increasingly important as voice search via Google Assistant becomes more commonplace through television and even in automobiles.
If your site does not use any structured data then now is the time to consider adding it. Be sure that it is accurately deployed because structured data that does not match the on page content is considered spam and can result in a manual action. Read: 5 Easy Wins for Structured Data in Google
Should You Migrate Your Structured Data to JSON-LD?
I asked Tony Wright of WrightIMC if sites using alternative versions of structured data should consider upgrading to JSON-LD. Tony is a top SEO professional whose opinion I have the highest regard for.
This is what Tony said:
“Google recommends using JSON-LD, and it’s much easier to use once you understand the basics. I would encourage anyone using structured data to explore moving to JSON-LD. “
I then asked Dave Davies of BeanStalkIM, another search marketer I admire and this is what he said:
“I don’t know that I’d have a particularly poignant answer for the folks. I can basically summarize my answer in one picture:”
I agree with Tony and Dave.
In my opinion, it makes sense to update your structured data to JSON-LD. It’s a better system than others because of it’s flexibility and discrete method of integration. Additionally, as Tony reminds us, JSON-LD is preferred by Google.
It’s important to evolve with search so that you can achieve and maintain top rankings.
You can still get by with what you have. But JSON-LD has all the ingredients for high rankings. In my opinion it makes sense to upgrade to JSON-LD and be on the right side with Google.