<< by on January 25th, 2013
Rich snippets are a great way to tell Google details about the items on your website. The problem is that it can sometimes be a struggle to get the necessary snippets edited into the HTML code of the desired page. Data Highlighter for Events is a new Webmaster Tools feature that allows you to bypass the struggle of directly editing the HTML of a page. As the name implies, you can simply highlight the part of the page that you would like to be attributed as the title, description, event image and more. Below is an example of how the Google knowledge graph could display your event invitation with a search on the location “Providence, Rhode Island”
The best part? The highlighter learns! You can opt to detect similar pages and the Data Highlighter will make its best guess about how to highlight similar pages. Note that Google will verify their auto-tagging with you before implementing.
So lets say, for instance, you are the world-renowned International Pancake Association and you would like your Annual Pancake Party to be more visible in search. Below are the steps to submit your event data to Google with Data Highlighter:
Step 1: Open up the Data Highlighter
From the Webmaster tools home screen, navigate to the Data Highlighter and click, “Start Highlighting”
Step 2: Enter the URL you would like to add event rich snippets to
As mentioned previously, you can opt to edit just one page, or have Google automatically detect pages with similar format and auto-tag those pages as well.
Step 3: Highlight Away!
Highlight the text or image you would like to define. When you release the mouse, a window will pop up with all the characteristics you can assign to the highlighted text or object.
Step 4: Submit to Webmaster Tools
As you assign characteristics, you can view what is being saved in a panel on the right panel of the browser. Once everything is assigned correctly, click the “done” button in the upper right hand corner.
and VOILA! Events rich snippets without the pain and hassle of editing the HTML of your page. For now this feature is just available for events, but hopefully Google will roll this out across other products soon. What rich snippet markup would you like to see a highlighter for next? Let me know in the comments below or find me on Twitter @CaseyDavenport