Google Updates Video Structured Data Guidance

Google updated the structured data related to the Video features rich results shown in Google search with new recommendations that influence the date and time the video was published.

VideoObject Structured Data Type Changes

The VideoObject structured data type is used by Google for displaying various kinds of rich results in Google Search, Google Discover, video search results and Google image search results.

The change was made in order to improve the date and time data to make it more precise.

Google previously only required the date that the video was first published.

What Google Changed

A structured data “type” is like a thing and a structured data “property” is an attribute of that thing (the structure data type).

Structured data then is comprised of a type and the properties of that type.

The change in the video structured data is that Google requires the time the video was publication.

This is accomplished by the use of the DateType structured data type.

Google’s documentation was updated with additional guidance in two sections.

The first section was updated in the following way.

Original guidance:

The date the video was first published, in ISO 8601 format.

Updated guidance:

The date and time the video was first published, in ISO 8601 format.

We recommend that you provide timezone information; otherwise, we will default to the timezone used by Googlebot”

The next section that was updated previously recommended:

“expires Date”

And it now recommends:

“expires DateTime”

The following section was updated with new text, which is indicated by inclusions represented within brackets []

“If applicable, the date [and time] after which the video will no longer be available, in ISO 8601 format. Don’t supply this information if your video does not expire.

[We recommend that you provide timezone information; otherwise, we will default to the timezone used by Googlebot]”

How Important Are The Changes To The Video Structured Data?

The only consequences that Google advises for ignoring this new recommended structured data is that the timezone will default to the one used by Googlebot, which for example could be California time.

Nevertheless, it’s always a good practice to present structured data to Google in the way it’s expected.

Giving Googlebot what it expects is the hallmark of what the word optimization means.

So it’s a best practice to optimize the structured data for Google by giving it what it expects to see and not rolling the dice by doing otherwise and experiencing an unintended outcome.

Google’s video documentation is here:

Video (VideoObject, Clip, BroadcastEvent) structured data

Featured image by Shutterstock/New Africa

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