Is structured data for SEO on its way out?

Any one that has been following internet marketing for a while now knows about structured data and schema.org, some people have even hailed it as a magic bullet that will solve all of the words problems…. Well your SEO ones at least… but are the days of structured data for SEO purposes numbered?

In today’s Google Webmaster Central hangout Kieran asked Googles John Mueller if there is anything that webmasters can do to encourage Google to display rich snippets without having to add schema to a site.

John replied that they have “magic algorithms” but then went in to more detail, explaining that it is hard for Google to do algorithmically and so anything that we can do to help, such as structured lists or using schema.org, will mean that Google can show more rich snippets for your site.

OK so nothing new so far, but John didn’t stop there. He went on to say that these are still very experimental and they are something that “we might notice that it doesn’t make any sense to show this much information in search, or webmasters don’t want us to show that much information, or that users are confused that information was shown incorrectly” and that this is “something that might be changing in the future”.

He said to use structured data if you want to but he “can’t guarantee that we will show them specifically for your site, or for any site”.

If you want to see what he said for yourself you can view the video here and skip to 16:30.

While this certainly isn’t the death of structured data perhaps those of us in the SEO industry need to be aware that it might be going the same way as authorship mark-up.

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