SEO: Google Announces New Structured Data Properties for Events

Over the last two months, we’ve quickly watched the Coronavirus outbreak take over the attention of the nation and the world. Due to the outbreak, we’ve seen many events around the globe get canceled, postponed or moved to an online-only format.

In order to inform customers, clients and attendees, many have used different channels, including media, email, flyers, direct mail and social media.

As scheduled events are nearing, people are using Google Search to check on the status of events. In order to update how your events show in Google Search Results, we can use Structured data / schema.org markup.

Today, Google announced on the official Google Webmaster Central Blog that they added new, optional properties to the Developer Documentation. This will allow Google to show users the latest, most accurate information about your events. These properties apply to all regions and languages.

Here are some important tips:

Updating the Status of an Event

The schema.org “eventStatus” property sets the status of an event, specifically when the event has been canceled, postponed or rescheduled. This information allows Google to show users the current status of an event instead of removing the event from the event search.


Status of the Event Property
If the Event has been Canceled Set the eventStatus property to EventCancelled and keep the original date in the startDate of the event
If the Event has been Postponed

But, the new date isn’t known yet

Keep the original date in the startDate of the event until you know when the event will take place and update the eventStatus to EventPostponed. The startDate property is required to help identify the unique event, and they will need the date original startDate until you know the new date. Once you know the new date information, change the eventStatus to EventRescheduled and update the startDate and endDate with the new date information
If the Event has been rescheduled to a Later Date Update the startDate and endDate with the relevant new dates. Optionally, you can also mark the eventStatus field as EventRescheduled and add the previousStartDate
If the Event has moved from In-Person to

an Online-Only Platform

Optionally update the eventStatus field to indicate the change with EventMovedOnline

Additional information on how to implement the eventStatus property can be found in the Developer Documentation.

Online-Only Events

More and more events are currently shifting to an online-only platform. Google is actively working on ways to show this information to people in Google Search. If your event is happening online or has shifted to an online-only platform, make sure to use the following properties:

Additional information on how to implement the VirualLocation type can be found in the Developer Documentation.

Update Google when your Event Changes

As soon as your event status has changed, it’s time to update your website. When making updates to your website, be sure to update your Structured Data Markup and make sure you update Google with these changes.

To test your Structured Data Markup, you can use the Google Structured Data Testing Tool or Google Chrome Extension Structured Data Testing Tool.

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