Data Highlighter by Google Webmaster

If you are a webmaster or own a site, then it is likely that you know about Google Webmaster Tools (WMT). If not, then the first thing you need to do is bookmark my blog! Then head on over to Google Webmasters and register your site the NOW! I cannot stress more on this. Google Webmasters allows the webmaster to slightly influence the method in which the Google bot crawls your website. Why is this important, well you can actually tell Google to crawl certain pages of your website, and ask it to not crawl other non-important pages. Typically, you would do this using Sitemaps (do remind me to write about this sometime later!).

The latest feature roll out by Google WMT is their Data Highlighter feature. You will find this in the Optimization section of Google WMT. At present this nifty feature lets you highlight event based data on your website. So if you are a training institute for financial certifications like us, then you can easily benefit from this feature. All you have to do is create a page set of pages which have this data that you need to highlight.

Page Sets in WMT

I created a page set called Batches (which is a set of pages for all our classroom centers in India). Then, the WMT wizard started and asked me to point out specific event meta information which was on those pages. Information such as the name of the event (for us it was events such as CFA Level I, Fin Mod, FRM Part I, etc.), event date and time, venue and address.

Data Highlighter by Google Webmaster

Now, the next time when the Google bot crawls this site, it will simply read and store this additional information and display them in the Search Engine Ranking Positions (SERPs).

Here is a really helpful video by the good folks at Google WMT explaining this feature –

  • Hi Prasad,

    i think It’s currently only available for event-based data & it’s only for english language but Google says that the tool is going to expand in the near future.

    Thanks for info you sharing with us

    • Sandeep, I had mentioned this as well. We will have to just wait and watch how WMT brings structured data into webpages!

  • It’s a shame that it seems to be limited to ‘Events’ and not also to other items. Structured data could be very useful for things like awards / titles / competitions / company services etc. I look forward to seeing how this will develop. Informative article by the way.

    • John, I agree with you. Structured data needs to be developed more along the lines of schema.org or other micro formats, wherein the webmaster need not worry about using the correct syntax of these formats, but instead uses the data highlighter to indicate the correct data and Google WMT does the rest!