Google updated the ClaimReview Structured Data to restrict how many fact checks on a page. This is a major change that could make thousands of pages ineligible for a fact check rich result.
ClaimReview Fact Check Rich Result
The ClaimReview Schema.org structured data is added to web pages that fact check claims made on another website or in a video.
The use is intended for pages that are conducting fact checking reviews of claims that have been made.
The official Schema.org specification for the ClaimReview structured data type is:
“A fact-checking review of claims made (or reported) in some creative work (referenced via itemReviewed).”
Using the ClaimReview structured data can make a web page eligible to be shown as a rich result in Google, typically as a summary of the review.
What Changed in ClaimReview Structured Data
The part that changed in the Technical Guidelines for ClaimReview structured data.
Google previously allowed publishers to have multiple fact checks on a single page. That means that a web page could contain multiple fact checks on different topics on a single page.
This is the previous guidance that was removed from Google’s Fact Check Structured Data Developer page:
“A single page can host multiple ClaimReview elements, each for a separate claim.”
This is the current guidance:
“To be eligible for the single fact check rich result, a page must only have one ClaimReview element. If you add multiple ClaimReview elements per page, the page won’t be eligible for the single fact check rich result.”
Mandating a single ClaimReview topic per page is a significant change that will affect all web pages containing multiple fact checks and associated structured data on a single web page.
Exception to Single Fact Check Rule
There is one exception to the rule. Google allows a web page to host multiple fact checks about the same topic from different reviewers on a single page.
This rule that existed in the old version of Google’s guidance and remains unchanged.
“If different reviewers on the page check the same fact, you can include a separate ClaimReview element for each reviewer’s analysis.”
Failure to Follow Directions May Result in Loss of Rich Results
Rich Results allows a web page to gain an enhanced listing in Google’s search results, gaining a potential advantage over competitors in terms of receiving more search related traffic.
Google’s new guidance says that a page must have a single ClaimReview structured data element per page, except for when multiple reviewers fact check the same topic.
That means that pages that are fact checking multiple claims may become ineligible for a rich result.
Google’s changelog notation for this change states:
“Removed guidance about hosting multiple factchecks per page.
To be eligible for the single fact check rich result, a page must only have one ClaimReview element.”
Publishers using ClaimReview structured data may find it prudent to review their structured data implementation to make sure that it conforms to Google’s new guidelines.
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Roger Montti is a search marketer with 20 years experience.
I offer site audits and link building strategies.