Google recently came up with the new practice problems structured data that allows educational websites to display their content directly on the search results page. With this update, Google aims to improve online learning for learners, teachers, and parents, who had to adapt overnight to new learning norms due to the uncertainties caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. SEO Melbourne has guided many engaged SEO Companies in Melbourne through this process.
What is the Practice Problems Structured Data?
Practice problems is Google’s new schema markup, launched earlier this year, that allows educational sites to provide their target audience with previews of their learning content. This is done by having their content displayed on the Google Search results page in the form of quizzes with “multiple choice” formatted questions.
As a result, learners can interact with the content more easily on Google Search to test their knowledge on math and science topics.
Here’s how it may look like in Google Search results:
How do I implement this new structured data on my webpage?
You can follow this step-by-step guide on how to make your webpages eligible for display as rich results.
First, you need to define the type of structured data.
- In index.html, create a <script> element with the type set to application/ld+json in the <head> of the page.
- Inside the <script> element, tell Google you’re using schema.org structured data by setting @context to http://schema.org.
- Next, tell Google what kind of thing you’re describing and set @type to Quiz.
- If you followed all the steps correctly, your code should look like the one below:
- Note that the JSON-LD structured data can be inserted either in the <head> or the <body> tag of the web document.
Then, you need to add the required properties.
- For the full list of required and recommended properties for a ‘Quiz’, click here.
- Google Search supports Markdown (CommonMark flavor) and HTML when encoding Questions, Answers and Comments. Moreover, the set of constructs are restricted to: Headers, Line breaks, Lists (ordered and unordered), Paragraphs, Bold, Italic, Images and Formulas in LaTex
- Use the ‘encodingFormat’ property and set the value to “text/html” for HTML or “text/markdown” for Markdown to specify which format you are using. For instance, “Text/html” will be assumed if no ‘encodingFormat’ is specified. Below is an example of a question that is set to HTML format:
“name”: “Average velocity from graphs”,
“text”: “What is the average velocity [..] between the times $$t = 0s$$ and $$t = 5s$$?”,
- Lastly, use the LaTex format to specify a formula and use the double dollar sign ($$) to embed formulas. Here is a sample:
“<p>Please solve: $$5x = 375$$</p>”
You always have to follow the guidelines.
Google has put emphasis on the following guidelines below. However, you can find the full technical and content guidelines list here.
- Add a Quiz property for each practice problem that you want featured. The structured data must appear on the same page as the practice problem a user can interact with on your web page.
- You must mark up a minimum of two practice problems per concept (for example, two practice problems for the concept “quadratic equation”). Furthermore, you must focus on marking up the concepts and problems that you want to be eligible to appear in the Practice problems rich result. They can be on separate pages.
- Put structured data on the most detailed leaf page possible. Moreover, don’t add structured data to pages without practice problems.
Use the Rich Results Test to validate your code.
Additionally, you can also test your webpage’s compliance with technical guidelines using this test.
Finally, you need to use the URL Inspection Tool to test how Google views the page.
Make sure that there are no robots.txt file, noindex tag, or login requirements that can block Google’s access to your page.
How do I monitor issues?
Along with the new structured data, Google has also launched reports in Search Console that lets you detect any markup issues and optimise your implementation.
Here’s how to use Search Console to fix your errors:
- Login to your Search Console account.
- Click on ‘Enhancements’ which you can find on the sidebar.
- Then, select ‘Practice Problems’ from the list.
- Use the bar chart to see the trends for errors, valid with warning, and valids.
- To fix errors, see the table under the bar chart.
- Click on a specific error. This will lead you to a page with a detailed report of the issue which will include the number of errors overtime, the specific pages that has errors, as well as the dates of detection.
- Select a specific page to check your error in the HTML code.
- Lastly, click “Validate Fix” to validate your changes.
How do I assess my performance with the practice problems structured data?
Google has also added a practice problems rich results filter in the performance report within Search Console. This filter allows you to see your practice problem rich results and its corresponding number of clicks, impressions, etc.
To access the filter, you have to go on the Search Console performance report. Next, click on the “+NEW” button. You must then select the “Search Appearance” option.
Lastly, select “Practice Problems from the list which will transfer you to a page that looks like the one below. Then, you can analyze the results.
How will the practice problems structured data improve my website’s SEO?
If implemented properly, these new features can help increase your website’s traffic, as a result of an enhanced appearance on the Google Search results page. Additionally, this can lead to increased brand awareness, as well as positive brand attitudes.
Therefore, if you are managing an educational website, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of these new schemas. As we continue to witness the increasing prevalence of online and remote learning, it is almost required to stay up-to-date and informed on every feature that will help your website in improving the online learning experience.
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