Earlier this month, Google announced its plans to deprecate its Structured Data Testing Tool (SDTT) and replace it with the Rich Results Test (RR) for validating structured data.
Google’s rich results test was created in 2017 for the purpose of testing snippets and other ‘rich’ elements that are eligible to display in the search results.
Google’s Rich Result Tester offers a more accurate representation of how a page is displayed visually in the SERPs.
It also allows users to test structured data within dynamically loaded content, a feature not offered by Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, and renders desktop/mobile results for rich snippets. Another new feature is full alignment with Search Console reports.
Otherwise, both tools offer similar functionality, with the ability to test individual URLs for schema, or specific code snippets in JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa.
However, one downside to the Rich Results tool is that it only tests types of schema that produce rich results, and not all schema markups (like it’s predecessor). Many users consider this to be a “downgrade” because RR only supports a narrow subset of Google-approved schemas.
A proposed solution to this would be for Google to include an additional section such as “Non-Snippet Related Structured Data” for non-rich snippet markups, but we’ll have to see if this addition is made by Google.
It also serves as a poor replacement as a debugger tool, as SDTT will show the specific line of code that’s resulting in warnings or errors, whereas RR sometimes displays “Page not eligible for rich results known by this test” without further explanation. For the time being, SEOs may have to use third-party structured data testing tools for debugging purposes.
To allow for easier transition, Google will keep the deprecated SDTT available “for the time being,” but “strongly recommends you use the Rich Results Test to test and validate your structured data.”
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