Google removes 12 structured data fields from the help documents

This may impact HowTo, QAPage and SpecialAnnouncement rich results and reporting.

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Google has removed 12 documented structured data fields from its help documents citing these were removed because they are “unused by Google Search and Rich Result Test doesn’t flag warnings for them.”

What was removed. Google removed 12 different structured data fields from within HowTo, QApage and SpecialAnnouncements rich results types. These include:

  • HowTo: description field.
  • QAPage: mainEntity.suggestedAnswer.author, mainEntity.dateCreated, mainEntity.suggestedAnswer.dateCreated, mainEntity.acceptedAnswer.author, mainEntity.acceptedAnswer.dateCreated, and mainEntity.author fields.
  • SpecialAnnouncement: provider, audience, serviceType, address, and category fields.

Google removed these 12 fields from the help documents to more accurately describe what Google Search and the Rich Results Test support.

Remove the code? Should you remove the code and fields from your structured data and code on your web pages? No, you do not have to. Google simply will not support them, but it doesn’t hurt you to keep the fields populated on your pages. Google simply won’t use them for Google Search.

Why we care. If you are using these fields, just be aware that these have been officially removed from Google’s Search help documentation. They do not work for rich results in Google Search and the testing tool won’t notify you if there are errors or warning with these field types.

Again, you do not need to remove the fields from your structured data, but Google will simply ignore them.


About the author

Barry Schwartz
Staff
Barry Schwartz is a technologist and 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.

In 2019, Barry was awarded the Outstanding Community Services Award from Search Engine Land, in 2018 he was awarded the US Search Awards the "US Search Personality Of The Year," you can learn more over here and in 2023 he was listed as a top 50 most influential PPCer by Marketing O'Clock.

Barry can be followed on X here and you can learn more about Barry Schwartz over here or on her personal site.

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