Google Webmaster Tools: An Introduction to the Data Highlighter Tool

By Nicolas Vargas
Google’s new Data Highlighter tool uses browser experience which makes it easy for non-programmers to use because you don’t have to change the HTML. The aim of this new Google Webmaster tools feature is to make it easier to add structured data markup on your web pages. It is currently available in English at the moment but Google are planning to add more languages in the future
The process is pretty simple and I’ll explain it in detail later, but broadly it works in this way:

  • You tag the content you want to mark up with microdata using your mouse (at the moment you can just tag events)

  • You publish it (meaning you submit the structured data to Google).

  • Google will then use that information to improve the  search results, including your structured data to present your search entry more “ attractively”
    Getting Started
    1) Go to your Google Webmaster Tools Account and choose ‘Optimisation’
    Webmaster Tool Optimization Option image
    2) Click on Data Highlighter Option
    Data Highlighter Option Image
    3) Click on Start Highlighting
    Start Highlighting Tool Image
    4) Write the Url of the page where your events are listed
    Highlight Tool Add page URL Image
    5) In this example I chose a page on MooMu Media’s blog, even though it is currently only available for events, just for an example.
    Select the data on your page that you want to highlight, keeping in mind that there are some required spots . Choose the appropriate tag from the drop down.
    Highlight Tool Moomumedia Page Example
    Here there is a table with all the data you can include
    Highlight Tool Data Items Box
    6) Click on the done Button once you’re highlight all the data you want
    Done Box Highlight Web Master Tool
    7) You can add pages that you want Google to Auto-tag, by choosing ones yourself (Custom) or the ones Google considers related.
    Create a Page set Box Highlight Tool Image
    8) Once you create the set, you have to repeat the process on at least 5 pages, and then Google can understand the data you are highlighting and can make the rest for you.
    9) Finally, you can check if the information on your events is correct before you publish them.
    Publish box Highlight Tool Image

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