Google just released a warning about Event Snippets
Google released a warning about the use of Event Snippets and using them properly. Yawn. But, here’s why it matters to you.
When someone is optimizing your site and using a snippet (that’s a code we use to tell Google what your site is is about. If you use WordPress, like I do then there’s a plugin we use that tells people if something is an event or something else) it better be the correct snippet code. Tsk, tsk.
Notice what Google is saying about optimizing the event snippet. Webmasters are listing coupons with a deadline as an “Event” and it’s confusing users. Yes. This makes sense. Because, a coupon isn’t actually an event. Unless you are holding an event in your brick and mortar store or online where the coupon is used, it’s not applicable. (Think a one day event or a weekend event such as a March Madness event or Black Friday Event). It’s confusing for people. It doesn’t offer them value. That’s where Google draws the line. When something gets abused and stops offering value to users, Google says no.
It’s all about the Users
Are you guilty of doing this? Find a better Snippet. There are plenty to choose from, so use one that makes sense for your users. See, that’s the point. To make your site and your optimization a better experience for your users. We forget that part sometimes. We get so focused on following all of the guidelines Google and Bing have in place for us, but it’s really about our users. They are the ones we are trying to reach and who we are writing the content for, after all.
So instead of focusing on whether or not the coupon needs a snippet, maybe the real question is how can I best reach my audience with this message? Once you’ve answered that question, the snippet you should use will either reveal itself or you will know that it isn’t snippet worthy and another method will better get your message in front of users. Maybe it’s time to user some SEM tactics. Perhaps Facebook Advertising is best for you. Maybe you’ll have more success with Instagram advertising. Or, maybe you should use the Google Post feature and post your coupon on your Google Business Page. There are still many ways to share your message and relay your service, even if a snippet isn’t appropriate. Again, how can you best reach your users? What is best for them? What tools can you use to reach them?
And then there’s the sneak in
Google added one last sentence. And it’s a doozy. If you didn’t take the time to read the entire blog post. Yikes! You missed the most important sentence of the whole post…
this applies to all other non-event items being annotated with “event” markup as well — or, really, for applying a type of markup to something other than the type of thing it is meant to describe.
Normally I don’t find it necessary to share Google’s posts, but this one sentence was worth a warning. At least the way I read it.
Bascially, mind yourself. Don’t be misrepresentin’. No more sliding anything into categories because it “should work”. Use the correct category and do the right thing for your users.
Do the right thing
Yeah. Basically that’s why my SEO program takes a little longer than some of the others that you might find. Because I’m very careful to do the right thing. I take the time to make sure your site isn’t doing anything that it shouldn’t be. I’m going to check and double check everything and make you recommendations about what should be done to keep you from getting in trouble with Google.
Once you get in trouble, fixing the problem and getting it rectified takes months and earning back the position you had can take even longer. Doing the right thing pays off in the long run. It saves you time. It saves you money. It makes your site easy for your users to navigate and easy for them to work with. It is easy to be indexed because it’s also easy for a user to find their way around.
This takes planning and configuring. It can also take fixing. And it’s worth every penny in the end.