Google sees millions and millions of queries each day related to local events and activities. The issue they observed was that most users were turning to external apps and websites to find the information they need – eliminating Google from the equation. As we all know, Google prides itself on being a platform that answers questions for everyone. So much they have become an everyday verb – “Google it!”
About a week ago, they announced an update in which events of all kinds would be showcased in a specialized box when a user enters a query.
For example, let’s Google “Events this weekend.”
You’ll see the results provide an organized, simplistic list of matches in the area. You can get more granular with the searches, such as “Food event in San Diego,” or “Concerts in San Diego,” and still get the same filtered results.
Google pulls information from heavy-hitter event platforms like Ticketmaster, Meetup, LiveNation, Vividseats, Jamebase, StubHub, Eventbrite, and more.
With this new level of convenience comes a set of rules and guidelines in which people must follow to be ranked in the Google events search results. Here are a couple of the main points.
Each target landing page for an event needs to contain thoroughly structured data in relation to the schema vocabulary.
For data to be classified as “structured,” it must exhibit a high level of text-based organization in a relational database.
Google’s robots don’t fancy doing unnecessary work. When your data is structured, it’s predictable and easier for the search engines to crawl. In turn, they can organize it and display it in a compelling fashion. The best way to represent your data is in the JSON-LD format. Like so:
This type of structured data is what describes content, and all of its properties, on the web. For an event, you would need to include the proper information such as: name, location, time, and contact info.
Start by publishing markings on a specific page of your website. Get as specific as possible in relation to the schema property names. Then, proceed to mark up all pertaining pages. Be sure to do the same with AMP HTML pages so a good experience is consistent across all devices. Also, the pages with markup should not be blocked to the crawlers by robot.txt.
The image URLs need to be crawlable as well, they will not be displayed otherwise.
Last but not least, EACH event page must have a unique URL and appropriate markup. Google’s bots love structured data that is informative and simplistic.
Accuracy is everything here. All relevant information must be presented in an intuitive way for both search engines and users.
Make sure multiple-day events are labeled correctly. If there are several different attractions spanning across different days with separate ticketing options, create an individual element for each event.
Next, don’t mark any non-events as events. In other words, don’t try to upsell any products or services. For instance, promoting things like hotels or trip packages is a no-no. Additionally, steer clear of offering discounts or coupons related to the event. This update was purely meant for helping users find the activities they want, not be sold to.
The purpose of this update is to provide more beneficial experience to mobile users when looking for something to do nearby. At the end of the day, Google is going beyond increasing exposure for certain occurrences. The end goal is keep mobile users on Google – as opposed to external sites with defined sales funnels. People will be able to simply search for events and use the results as a planner. As of now, this feature is only available in the United States for both iOS and Android.