Using the Structured Data Highlighter in Webmaster Tools

I’ve never really used this lovely tool located in Webmaster Tools too much, but I’ve decided to invest some time in it to see the results of it. I’m quite impressed actually and I’ve used it on my personal blog to see what would happen and how my pages would end up looking in the search results, as a result of using this feature.

So what is the Data Highlighter?

It’s a nifty tool in Google Webmaster Tool that allows you to implement Schema markup without having to edit the hard code on your website. You can essentially tell Google that a certain part of your site equals the certain markup.

Here’s a list of what it allows you to define:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Date Published
  • Image
  • Category
  • Average Rating
    • Rating
    • Votes

How do I use it?

The tool essentially allows you to define each of the above markup by highlighting parts of your page directly via Google Webmaster Tools:

Structured Data Highlighter1 Using the Structured Data Highlighter in Webmaster Tools

Click “Data Highlighter” and it will take you to a page where you’ll have to click on “Start Highlighting”. Once you click this button, type in the URL you want to highlight with structured data. For me, I picked a page on my blog that had a bit of markup, but was not showing what I wanted in the SERPs.  It was for a review of a Chinese restaurant in Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford, of which I had star ratings, review date, and reviewer fields at the bottom of the article filled in. Tag these properties up with the data highlighter by dragging you cursor, whilst holding down on left click, over the text you would like to highlight. Then right click and it will give you options to tag what you just highlighted – as you can see from what I’ve done here:

Data Highlighter Google Webmaster Tools Using the Structured Data Highlighter in Webmaster Tools

Hit publish and simply wait for Google to update with this newly crafted information. Here’s the result of that and as you can see I have the stars setup in my listing along with all the other cool features:

Google Search Review Result Structured Data Using the Structured Data Highlighter in Webmaster Tools

Google will also use this tagging up of a page to learn how other pages work and I have a similar setup of Schema on a different page. Here’s another review that I did that is now showing star ratings:Review Schema.Markup.DataHighlighter Using the Structured Data Highlighter in Webmaster Tools*Note: I realise that the “Review by” bit is off, and this is simply due to the fact that I entered the wrong information in the wrong field when setting it up on that blog post. 

Google will also tell you what is showing up with Schema markup in the SERPs directly from Webmaster Tools:

Structured Data Dashboard Webmaster Tools1 Using the Structured Data Highlighter in Webmaster Tools

I think more sites need to be using this. It’s not complicated nor is it hard to setup and I think the results of this will lead to higher click-through rates and more eyes prying on your listing in the SERPs.

What do you think? 🙂

Author: Jonathan Jones

I first first started creating websites back in 2005. This led me to creating a free web hosting business in 2007, which still exists today. I ventured into creating types of websites such as blogs and forums using Wordpress, vBulletin, Invision Power Board, Drupal and Joomla. I've since worked on some of the leading brands in the UK finance sector, in the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) field, and now work for MoneySuperMarket, the #1 price comparison website in the UK. Social: Google+ and Twitter.

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