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Planning structured data for my technical documentation website, I stuck on the decision how described components should be presented.

I consider Course versus Product (from schema.org). Or is there better choice?


Background:

There are two products:

  • Free package FP
  • Premium package PP
  • I do not sell single components, only the PP as a whole

As the PP extends FP, the docs are mixed (it's a sellpoint, people see more advanced components mixed with those which are free).

I am not sure if it disqualifies my (free) components as Product, as I cannot provide the price property; if so, it does disqualify them for listings, as per Google official Carousel guideliness, and I cannot really have it:

All items in the list must be of the same type, for example: Article or Recipe.

On the other hand, I'd like to provide images (for better CTR), and there is no way to do it in Course, and I do not really recognize any other semantically valid content type providing those, except maybe Recipe, which does not seem appropriate.

Question: Should I structure components in my technical docs as Product, Course yet some other Structured Data Content Type?

Note: I don't care about Bing and others, only Google, and I aim for the most appropriate solution for it.

  • There is no rankings benefit to having structured data. Only that Google will sometimes change how your site is displayed in the results. Even if you give Google the data to put you in a carousel display, Google probably won't do so. From what I've seen they tend to choose big well known sites for that treatment, or more often Google owned properties. – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 8 '18 at 13:11
  • Thanks for your insight, if I gave you the reason to think that I anyhow suggest SD profits SEO ranking then please do edit my question - I did not mean to do so. In my opinion better search result styles (CSS, Rich Snippets) provide better CTR. I might have read somewhere that they do, but I do not remember the source of this intel. – wscourge Mar 9 '18 at 13:47
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Probably for your technical documents will be useful to you for the type of markup DigitalDocument.

Using the property mainEntity, you can create a markup for some nested type that you want.

For your additional types, you can apply the property additionalType. The info The Product Types Ontology: High-precision identifiers for product types based on Wikipedia:

Usage You can use this ontology to describe any object for which a matching entry in the English Wikipedia exists. If you already know the correct URI for the English Wikipedia page, simply cut off the Wikipedia namespace part

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

from the Wikipedia URI, e.g.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammer

and replace it by

http://www.productontology.org/id/

which will e.g. give you

http://www.productontology.org/id/Hammer

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My personal favorite for such things is the pair of http://schema.org/Question and http://schema.org/Answer - they are in my experience indexed by Google very fast and well.

If your documentation about software, i would go the way: http://schema.org/SoftwareApplicationhttp://schema.org/softwareHelphttp://schema.org/Questionhttp://schema.org/Answer

If you want to sell something you freely can use a type array, like "acceptedAnswer": ["Answer", "Offer"]

  • How does it address my wish to have photos when displaying rich snippets? Do they come with them? Could you show me any search example of those, either by linking (or better inserting into the answer) a screen of them? – wscourge Mar 9 '18 at 13:50
  • Google displays images in very limited set of rich snippets. Nothing of this set can be applyed to the information type you distribute. Surely you can try to game Google and markup your technical documentation as dish recipes - very likely that Google will display rich snippet images for a while, but the end of the game is penalty, and fast. Or maybe you think, any quality rater by Google would believe, a product "technical documentation" deserves an image on SERP page? – Evgeniy Mar 9 '18 at 17:56
  • My personal opinion is that most of "the hundred words" might be better explained by the GIF, however, I don't think that Google cares. Thanks for your insight, I do know it is not worth going against their policy and never intended to do so. Would you be so kind to give me at least a search term, which, in incognito mode, will lead me to the example of the rich snippets resulting from the schemas provided here in your answer? – wscourge Mar 9 '18 at 21:05
  • all stackoverflow pages are marked up with questions and answers – Evgeniy Mar 12 '18 at 16:42

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