To Survive You Must Give Google Your Structure Content & Data?

Dec 30, 2013 • 8:36 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

hand over keysGreg Niland, aka GoodROI, posted a thread at WebmasterWorld arguing that if you do not hand over your data and content to Google in a structure format, then you will die a slow death.

Greg said:

Some of you are probably thinking that using schema or HTML 5 simply makes it easier for the all-evil Google to steal your content. I'll be honest you do have a valid concern but if you ignore it, it will not go away. Your competition will do it and Google will get the content from them and give them the traffic. You need to figure out a new strategy for your site to deal with the current situation so you can incorporate these best practices and still profit. Maybe something like putting the best content behind a paid wall? Get creative!

Holding on to old techniques and technology is not a smart idea. It is like insisting on only selling printed newspapers and ignoring the fact that the world has changed and now people like to get their news online. Change is not fun but staying up to date on best practices is vital to success.

There are many SEOs and webmasters out there that don't want to give Google all their data and then let them use it in the knowledge graph without any link credit or potential to make money. But the question is, if your competitors do it, you will lose out anyway.

It is a hard call to make. You have data, the data is awesome, Google doesn't have access to it. Do you give it to Google in a structured format, such as we discussed with searching within apps or do you withhold?

Is there a win-win solution to this or is the only winner here Google?

Do you need to give Google your content in a structured format for your site to rank? If so, how long until Google replaces your site with the knowledge graph? Are there ways to benefit without handing over the keys to your business?

These are the decisions SEOs are making in 2013 and 2014.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for handing over keys

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12/30/2013 02:47 pm

Whatever you do your damned if you do and dammed if you don’t, this is just a sliding scale people and we are helping Google to become the internet, one day there won’t be any need for websites as Google will provide all data, it might not happen in the next 5 years but based on how this is accelerating I can see we will all need new jobs 10 years from now if Google continues to dominate search. Just my opinion nothing more!

Durant Imboden

12/30/2013 04:30 pm

If the best you can do is offer visitors bite-size portions of public-domain data that Google and other search engine can use to provide simple answers to direct questions, you're in trouble whether or not you use structured data markup. Also, some businesses and organizations are perfectly happy to have Google, Bing, etc. "steal" their structured data. Facilitating such "stealing" or scraping is the very reason for using certain types of markup, such as business information (e.g., a dental office's address, phone number, hours of operation, etc.) or events (when and where the Hometown Jazz Festival is taking place).

Michael Martinez

12/30/2013 09:28 pm

Utter nonsense.

Tom Cruise

12/30/2013 09:44 pm

someone needs to come up with fresh content and run adwords

Gracious Store

01/01/2014 03:00 am

What exactly does these structured data mean? And how, where and when do you give them to the big G?


01/01/2014 09:20 pm

> I can see we will all need new jobs 10 years from now if Google continues to dominate search. Just my opinion nothing more! We are the ones to blame...acting as there are no alternatives. If e.g. more people would just get rid of GA and use e.g. Piwik, then big G would not have as much data to compete with their ads....

Courtney Cox

01/02/2014 02:29 pm

For some sites this is true. If you're running a site about the hotel business and all you do is provide information that users could just as easily get from Wikipedia, you're screwed. On the other hand, iif you're running a job search engine or a business review site, having Google publish your content on their pages without having users visit your site is a terrible thing. This UGC is your content. I doubt these sites would be "happy" to have Google and other search engines "steal" their content because it would essentially make them obsolete. "Let us use your data on our own sites or we won't rank you" sounds a lot like racketeering to me. It used to be that we gave Google our data for a fair trade off. They used to respect site owners. Now they take advantage of their place of power. While it might be legal and "just business," it's not done with the "do no evil" spirit that Google was founded on. Frankly, I also don't believe that it's good for their users. While it may offer quick answers to their queries, because they're excerpts, they will typically be watered down. Also, not ranking sites just because they don't have structured data is not a ranking based on quality. If a site's quality is not great but it has structured data, is it going to start outranking a site with great quality and no structured data? That doesn't seem to follow Google's guidelines...

Durant Imboden

01/02/2014 03:20 pm

But Google *hasn't* said that you need to use structured data to rank, or that sites with structured data are given ranking preference. Don't confuse idle speculation with facts.

Courtney Cox

01/06/2014 02:13 pm

I'm not. I'm simply arguing that if Google were to do this, it wouldn't be in line with the values they've always claimed to hold.

Spook SEO

01/30/2014 11:06 am

Do you mean the Authorship / Authorank?

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