Shedding Some Light on Structured Data, Schema Markup, and Rich Results in Google Search

What is structured data? What is schema markup? Why is important? What are rich cards? What is a rich snippet? What or who is JSON-LD?

At first, it can be confusing when trying to wrap your head around what people are talking about regarding rich results on a Google SERP. Luckily, the landscape has cleared up in recent years, and there aren’t as many options or things you need to keep track of to stay up to date.

What Is Structured Data?

Google states, “Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content.” What they are saying is that structured data sets standards for certain types of data and content on the web so that they can be compared and evaluated against other similar types of data and content. By defining the specific parts of a page that are relevant for a particular type of content, search engines can confidently pull information from a page and be sure that there is no guesswork.

What Is Schema Markup?

Schema markup is a type of structured data supported by Google. It allows you to specify certain types of information on a webpage that will make you eligible for rich cards in SERPs. Schema markup is one of the ways digital marketers talk about a specific version of structured data released by

What Is and Why Is It Important? is the preferred method of providing structured data for Google. is a joint effort, emulating’s goal to improve the web. In the case of, their objective is to create structured data markup that is supported by major search engines. This gives users a more personalized search experience in the form of rich results.

What Is the Difference Between Rich Results, Rich Snippets, and Rich Cards?

Rich cards, rich snippets, and rich results are sometimes used interchangeably. The easiest way to differentiate between the three is to look at the history of them on Google SERPs. Rich snippets were the first to show in Google. They are a single result that is not in the traditional search results format. Later, Google introduced rich cards. Rich cards are results that display content in a more visual layout (particularly helpful for mobile users). They are often presented in a carousel format alongside other rich cards containing similar information from different sources or even the same source. Everything has now evolved into what we call rich results. Rich results are the combination of the previously mentioned rich snippets and rich cards being used on Google SERPs.

What Is JSON-LD?

JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data) is an implementation format that is used to deploy rich snippets, structured data, and schema markup on a website. Implementing JSON-LD rich snippets on your webpages will make them eligible to show as rich results in SERPs.


With so many ways to describe how to get rich results in a SERP, it is no wonder that people get confused. Though you may not be an expert, you should now have a basic understanding of what others are talking about if the topic of rich results comes up.

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