Google Clarifies Structured Course Data Requirements

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Google has updated the course’s structured data requirements to appear in the course’s rich results. Failure to follow the guidelines may result in disqualification for the rich outcome.

Although the added requirement is not new, it was previously missing from the Course Structured Data Requirements page.

Contents

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Course Structured Data

Schema structured data for courses is what schools use to appear in related rich results, which can appear as a carousel.

The official Schema.org site defines course structured data as follows:

“A description of a training course that may be offered as separate instances where it takes place at different times or in different places, or be offered through different media or modes of study.

An educational course is a sequence of one or more educational events and/or creative works that aim to develop learners’ knowledge, skills or abilities.

As long as schools follow Google Search Central’s structured data guidelines and requirements for course structured data, students can find the courses they’re looking for in the rich results triggered by educational course search queries, and everyone wins.

Unfortunately, the course’s structured data guidelines were incomplete because they failed to address an essential requirement.

The change to the course structured data was to add a missing requirement in the guidelines.

The change is described in a Google changelog:

“Clarified that you must add three courses to be eligible for the rich course outcome. This is not a new requirement; previously it was only documented in the carousel documentation.

Google has added additional sentences to the Structured Data Guidelines section of the course titled Technical Guidelines.

The new wording that has been added is as follows:

“You must mark at least three courses. Courses can be on separate detail pages or in an all-in-one page.

You must add Carousel markup to a summary page or an all-in-one page.

Prior to this clarification, developers and SEOs who followed the course guidelines would not have been aware of this requirement if they had not reviewed the carousel structured data requirements.

Any schools that have failed to tag three lessons and add a Carousel tag will not be eligible for rich lessons results.

Additional Changes to Structured Data Guidelines

Before Google clarified the course’s structured data requirements, the word “carousel” only appeared twice.

After the change, the word “carousel” appears six times in the new documentation.

The carousel’s structured data requirements were important from the start, but previous documentation did not communicate this importance to the research community.

Check your structured data

If the course’s structured data has been unsuccessful in the past in delivering a rich result, it may be worth reviewing the current structured data that is on the pages to ensure that there are at least three marked courses and that Carousel markup is also used.


References

Read the course’s updated structured data guidelines

Use the schema for the course carousel

View an archive of previous directives

Archive.org Google Course Structured Data Guidelines Snapshot

Image by Shutterstock/Maxim Gutsal

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