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Google Warns Publishers Not To Use Event Markup To Promote Products

by | Nov 28, 2017 | Strategy

by  @lauriesullivan
Google sent a warning to publishers on Monday not to use Event markup that misleads or confuses searchers.
The company has seen several publishers that focus on coupons and vouchers use the “Event” markup to describe something that is not an event, such as a product. The warning also went out to webmasters.

The markup is intended to trigger a result such as an event that will occur at a specific time and day. If an “event” is scheduled in the platform but it is not actually an event — such as a product — it could provide an undesirable experience for the searcher.
If this happens, the publisher will find a notification in their Search Console account. Google said it will remove the ability for the entire website to serve rich snippets in search results.
“While we’re specifically highlighting coupons and vouchers in this blogpost, 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,” Sven Naumann, trust and safety search team at Google, wrote in a blog post.
Google also published new general guidelines for using the Event markup. Marking up an organized events allows users to discover events through Google Search results and other products including Google Maps.
The guidelines also provide information on how to mark up an event snippet that runs several days, such as specifying both the start and end dates of the event. If there are several different performances across different days, each with individual tickets, Google suggests adding a separate Event element for each performance.