adds COVID-19-related structured data types in version 7.0 published version 7.0 of its specifications on Monday. The release contains new structured data types that were fast-tracked in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Announcements and events. “We are also making improvements to other areas of to help with the worldwide migration to working online and working from home,” wrote the blog post authors, Microsoft’s Tom Marsh and Google’s Dan Brickly and R.V. Guha, “for example by helping event organizers indicate when an event has moved from having a physical location to being conducted online, and whether the event’s ‘eventAttendanceMode’ is online, offline or mixed.”

The new “SpecialAnnouncement” structured data type allows for date-stamped textual updates and markup to associate the announcement with a situation, such as the COVID-19 outbreak.

The “eventAttendanceMode” property is a new modification to the Event structured data type that enables event organizers to communicate how people can attend their event.

COVID-19. The new “CovidTestingFacility” structured data type was created to represent both established and temporary testing facilities that are being opened to handle the pandemic. This can also be combined with the “hasDriveThroughService” property to indicate that a facility offers drive-through testing.

Updates to come. “We will continue to improve this vocabulary in the light of feedback (github; doc), and welcome suggestions for improvements and additions particularly from organizations who are publishing such updates,” the authors wrote.

Why we care. Once search engines begin supporting these new structured data markups, businesses, government entities and health organizations can begin using them to alert their audiences on how they’re adapting to the COVID-19 outbreak right from the search results.

About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing agency, journalism, and storytelling.

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