Inside Recommendation from Gary Illyes at Google

  • December 31, 2022
  • elkenz
  • 10 min read

search engine marketing Recommendation from Google’s Gary Illyes 

Again in 2017, Japan’s IT big, Rakuten, collaborated with Google to boost its Rakuten Recipe pages with the Recipe schema markup. The visitors to the recipe pages nearly tripled and the common session length grew by 1.5 occasions.

We invited Gary Illyes, Webmaster Developments Analyst for Google, to SEMrush’s Advertising Scoop podcast to offer extra particulars in regards to the Rakuten case examine and unveil all the things there may be to find out about structured knowledge.

Reworking the podcast interview into Q&A highlights, we’re revealing all of the “inside info” Gary shared about Google’s tackle structured knowledge and the way to put this technical search engine marketing approach to greatest use. 

Structured Information and Rankings

Does structured knowledge influence rankings? 

The schema markup doesn’t instantly affect rankings, all it does is assist Google crawlers perceive the pages higher. 

With none influence on the queries the web page ranks for or the rankings per se, structured knowledge may end up in visitors spikes. In Rakuten’s case, the visitors enhance got here from the “penalties” of an added schema markup. Structured knowledge can set off sure search options – a carousel, a featured snippet, an immediate reply, and so forth – which might be usually positioned on the very prime of the SERP. Because of wealthy outcomes, the content material from the unique natural web page consequence can find yourself in the next place, so customers get to see it sooner. 

“In the event you see that there are a number of recipes lined up on the search consequence web page, then it is very seemingly that you will select a consequence from there. That is the way it will help you find yourself in the next place,” Gary Illyes.

Can schema markup negatively have an effect on visitors numbers and click-through-rates? 

Exhibiting all the knowledge proper inside the wealthy outcomes might disincentivize customers to go to the web site itself. To resolve this concern, get inventive and tweak how the content material is displayed inside the search options. 

Leaving out among the content material from structured knowledge or giving a prolonged clarification that doesn’t match inside the wealthy outcomes house can encourage customers to click on and go to the web page. Experimentation is the important thing to success right here – by taking issues one step at a time, attempt utilizing schema markup on one web page and monitor its efficiency. 

How does including structured knowledge enhance time on web page?

Schema markup indicators assist entice extra focused customers as Google will get to point out essentially the most related pages for person queries. This will help websites enhance their time on web page (1.5X longer session length in Rakuten’s case) with out making any content material modifications as they get extra focused visitors and customers who received’t doubtlessly bounce off the web page.

“Individuals who had been looking for sure recipes bought higher outcomes as a result of we had been understanding the pages higher and will current these pages in a sure manner that helped replicate what they had been in search of,” Gary Illyes.

Rakuten case: with AMP and structured knowledge, which function had an even bigger influence?

Schema markup helps Google higher perceive the web page’s content material and drive extra related visitors, whereas AMP’s objective is to shortly ship the knowledge to the person.

In Rakuten’s case, they had been already utilizing AMP earlier than including structured knowledge to the recipe pages. With specialised websites like Rakuten Recipe, schema markups usually tend to make an influence as they assist drive extra focused customers to the positioning. For brand spanking new websites, beginning with AMP might be a greater technique as customers can shortly get the knowledge they’re in search of, after which be subjected to popups with login, a e-newsletter signup field, and so forth. 

Structured Information Fundamentals Defined by Google

Does structured knowledge influence Google’s capability to index the positioning’s content material? 

Structured knowledge helps Google appropriately determine what the web page is about with out an influence on indexing itself. If the web page comprises a sure entity and it will get annotated with structured knowledge, then if others speak about the same entity, Google can triangulate all of this knowledge, validate the web page content material and higher perceive what the web page is about. 

Does structured knowledge have an effect on the crawling frequency or indexing depth?

The schema markup is used for indexing and triggering search options, so it doesn’t influence the frequency of crawling in anyway.

Dealing With Structured Information Errors

Is there a Google penalty for making a mistake in structured knowledge? 

Any misuse or mistake in the best way structured knowledge is applied doesn’t result in a Google penalty or have an effect on the rankings. If the Google bot spots an error within the web page’s schema markup, it won’t use it. The one influence is that each one the focused visitors and wealthy outcomes perks like boosted visibility will diminish.

What occurs when structured knowledge will get faraway from the web page?

Eradicating the schema markup won’t convey any adverse results to the positioning – the web page will fall out of the search options with out affecting the general web site. The one recommendation is to do a fast clear rollback as a substitute of creating extra changes to the web page simply because the web page edit mode is on. 

If structured knowledge was purely an experiment, preserve it clear by altering one factor at a time in order that the assessments concerning what impacts visitors and presence within the search outcomes are correct. 

Utilizing Structured Information for Voice Search Solutions

Voice-activated assistants are already utilizing the prevailing sorts of structured knowledge, so there is no such thing as a must introduce new voice-search-specific schema markups. With voice search, Google nonetheless brings essentially the most related search outcomes for the question, solely key phrases get changed with full sentences. 

“In the event you had been following our webmaster pointers and also you had been taking note of really writing on your customers as a substitute of machines, then I strongly imagine that you’re already optimized for voice search,” Gary Illyes.

Google’s Future Plans for Structured Information

Within the foreseeable future, structured knowledge is crucial to enhance the best way serps work and the relevance of content material customers obtain. With the best way issues advance, serps will attain a degree the place they won’t require structured knowledge to grasp the pages’ content material. It’s not a matter of 1 12 months or two, however the course is obvious as language understanding evolves. 

“Ultimately we’d change to a stance the place we are saying that structured knowledge does not make a lot of a distinction as a result of we are able to perceive the pages anyway. However proper now, structured knowledge is required for reaching what Rakuten achieved,” Gary Illyes.

Previous to the interview with SEMrush, Gary turned to the Twitter group to see what structured knowledge questions individuals needed solutions for. We allotted among the podcast’s airtime for Gary’s solutions:

I am getting ready for an interview. Do you’ve any urgent questions you at all times needed to ask about Structured Information?


Does Google take structured knowledge into consideration that cross references entities between pages?


Google additionally takes structured knowledge into consideration when cross-referencing entities between pages.

  • Andrea Volpini: What’s the easiest method to assist Google reconcile entities that seek advice from the identical Particular person (or to the identical Group)?

What’s the easiest method to assist Google reconcile two entities that seek advice from the identical Particular person (or to the identical Group)?


If a sure entity will get continuously annotated with a “movie star” markup, use that exact same markup inside the web page speaking about that entity. Google prefers consistency – not simply throughout a single web site, however all through the online.

  • Valentin Pletzer: Is it useful for the aim of higher understanding the content material of the web page to have any structured knowledge that is not used for wealthy outcomes, or does Google (in the meanwhile) utterly ignore these? 

Is it useful for the aim of higher understanding the content material of the web page to have any structured knowledge that is not used for wealthy outcomes or does Google (in the meanwhile) utterly ignore these? I’m occupied with stuff like picture object, sameAs, …


Schema markup perks don’t solely come from wealthy outcomes. Google’s tackle structured knowledge is to make use of it wherever it appears related. If serps appropriately decide what the web page is about, they may doubtlessly convey extra related visitors. A balanced strategy could be so as to add schema markup wherever it’s acceptable whereas preserving the positioning mobile-friendly as structured knowledge can add to the web page load pace. 

“If there may be an completely related piece of structured knowledge schema sort that you may add to a web page, go for it. It is going to assist us perceive the pages higher.“

  • Andrew Limn: Does Google use any markup varieties past people who present wealthy outcomes? Additionally, do you propose to help subtypes, for instance, Automotive, which is a subtype of Product?

Does G use any markup varieties past people who present wealthy outcomes? Additionally, do you propose to help sub varieties, for instance Automotive which is a sub sort of Product. At current, you’ll be able to’t get Value/evaluations snippets from utilizing these Product sub varieties


Any structured knowledge sort (together with subtypes) talked about on is supported by Google because the search engine makes use of them to grasp entities. 

  • Shao Chieh Lo: Are wealthy outcomes from structured knowledge at all times on the primary web page of SERPs – can they be proven past?

@JohnMu As soon as stated that Structured knowledge do not enable you rank increased, it solely makes you eligible to rank for the wealthy consequence in case you already rank, however since wealthy outcomes are normally in the next place, is not it virtually assist us rank increased?


Wealthy outcomes are sometimes proven on the primary web page, however at times Google runs experiments with structured knowledge and shows search options on the second web page.

Closing Phrases

With 40-50% of domains already using structured knowledge throughout a whole lot of billions of pages, the schema markup remains to be typically misunderstood. Gary Illyes has clarified and elaborated on among the most continuously requested questions on schema markup, and listed here are the important thing factors to bear in mind:

  • Schema markup doesn’t have a direct influence on rankings or have an effect on the crawling frequency. Site visitors might rise on account of attracting extra focused customers and elevated visibility from wealthy outcomes.

  • Structured knowledge triggers enhancements to the web page’s session length with none content material tweaks since Google will convey extra focused visitors to the web page.

  • By getting inventive with the best way content material is displayed inside the search options, web site homeowners can negate potential CTR decreases.

  • Voice-activated assistants are already utilizing schema markups to set off voice search outcomes.

For extra insights about structured knowledge and extra, tune in to our Advertising Scoop podcast’s full interview with Gary Illyes.

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