By: Ken Freel
 
With the recent demise of Google Authorship, it’s easy to question the need to adapt to structured data changes. If Google can discontinue support features you’ve worked hard to incorporate into the markup of your content, what’s the point?
 
Why Worry About Structured Data?
 
Google might appear to just be removing Google Authorship, however it reveals the larger intentions of the tech giant. It ‘s clear that Google is focusing on updating their approach to structured data, and while Google Authorship is dead, Author Rank is evidence that structured data will continue to play an increasing role in how the big G will index individual pages and entire sites.
 
Furthermore, it’s important to adapt the markup of your site to take advantage of the structured data tools Google offers. Showing upcoming events or product listings directly in search result pages (SERPs) can provide a significant competitive advantage.
 
What Are the Benefits, Again?
 
Simply put, structured data makes it easier for users to get what they want from your website. Whether a user wants to know the time of an event or is looking for a video, structured data makes their lives easier and your organization more competitive in the digital space.
The Future of Structured Data - Small Business Website Design, SEO, and Online Marketing Blog | High Level Marketing  - 466554493
 
In addition to taking advantage of the current benefits of using structured data and rich snippets, incorporating this type of markup on your website guarantees you a leg up moving forward. All major search engines – Google, Bing, Yahoo and even Yandex are relying on this markup to improve user experience (see Schema below).
 
In other words, if Google decides to develop and release a feature similar to Google Authorship in the future, having rich snippets in your markup will have you ahead of the competition. While others are struggling to adopt new features and services that make their SERP listings more attractive, you will already be reaping the benefits.
 
Great Tools and References for Structured Data
 
Schema
 
Many, if not most, content management systems dynamically generate pages from structured data stored in databases. Work with your webmaster, developer or digital marketing company to make sure your current website or CMS is using rich snippets to make your hard earned SERP rankings appealing.