Several months after Google said it would deprecate the Google structured data testing tool, Schema.org has launched its markup validator.
Schema.org has launched its schema markup validator tool at validator.schema.org, the organization announced this afternoon. The markup validator helps you validate your structured data on your site that is used for general purposes, outside of the Google rich results testing tool.
Schema markup validator tool. Why the move.
Google initially launched its structured data testing tool in 2015 and then launched in 2017 the company launched the rich results testing tool. In July 2020 Google moved the rich results testing tool out of beta and with that announcement, Google said it would deprecate its structured data testing tool.
After backlash from the industry, Google decided to move the structured data testing tool from Google’s property to Schema.org.
Differences between Google and Schema.org. Google’s rich results testing tool is designed to show you only the Google supported structured data schema. But the Schema.org markup validator is more for “general purpose” and aimed at helping you debug many more structured data types, well beyond the Google supported ones.
Rich results tool. The rich results tool will be on Google’s own site, designed and maintained with the purpose of showing you Google Search rich result types. Google said “to test your markup for Google Search rich result types, you can continue to use the Rich Results Test.”
Structured data testing tool. However, Google will be migrating the Structured Data testing tool off of Google’s own domain and on to schema.org. Google said “to better support open standards and development experience, we’re refocusing the Structured Data Testing Tool and migrating it to a new domain serving the schema.org community by April 2021.” Google explained that “the main purpose of the tool will be to check syntax and compliance of markup with schema.org standards.” However, going forward the structured data testing tool will no longer check for Google search rich result types.
New Schema.org markup validator. Ryan Levering from Schema.org said this version is “simpler than its predecessor SDTT because it is dedicated to checking that you’re using JSON-LD, RDFa and Microdata in widely understood ways, and to warning you if you are using Schema.org types and properties in unusual combinations. It does not try to check your content against the information needs of specific services, tools or products (a topic deserving its own blog post). But it will help you understand whether or not your data expresses what you hope it expresses, and to reflect the essence of your structured data back in an intuitive way that reflects its underlying meaning.”
The validator.schema.org service is powered by Google’s general infrastructure for working with structured data, and is provided to the Schema.org project as a Google-hosted tool. We are also happy to note that many other schema.org-oriented validators are available, both commercial (e.g. Yandex’s) and opensource. For example, the Structured Data Linter,JSON-LD Playground, SDO-Check and Schemarama tools. We hope that the new Schema Markup Validator will stimulate collaboration among tool makers to improve consistency and developer experience for all those working on systems that consume Schema.org data.
Why we care. This gives us another tool we can use to validate the structured data we add to our sites. It should give you more tools in your tool belt to support your site and debug issues on your websites.
Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.