Google has confirmed that structured data has no impact on search engine rankings and is merely a way to make pages appear more welcoming to visitors.
Google’s Danny Sullivan was forced to clear up a misunderstanding about the impact of structured data after a popular food blogger said that the standardised format must be implemented for calorie counts in recipes.
The blogger claimed that her content would be penalised in search if it did not feature structured data.
After the tweet went viral with thousands of retweets and likes in less than 24 hours, Google stepped in to debunk the statement.
Sullivan said that structured data such as calorie information for recipes has no impact on the ranking of content in web search and does not need to be included for pages to feature higher in SERPs.
He said that content owners are able to provide structured data as an optional way to improve their web page listings.
Sullivan added that it does not have an impact on rankings.
Structured data helps Google, Bing and other search engines to understand what a particular web page is about.
It does this by marking up information on the page.
Google often uses this data in the Snippets format to improve the visual experience for users so that they are more likely to click on them, but it does not have a direct impact on rankings.
Google said that it will review the wording of its help pages and the notices sent on Search Console to prevent any possible confusion in the future.