Structured data

Structured data refers to information that is arranged in a fixed schema. Among other things, this scheme enables search engines to clearly interpret the data. Typical examples of this are databases in which every piece of information has a fixed place and a clear meaning.

Differentiation from unstructured data

Features Structured data Unstructured data
Format Fixed scheme No fixed scheme
Processing Simple and efficient Complex and time-consuming
Example Databases, Excel tables Emails, videos, text documents

Due to their structured nature, structured data offers immense advantages in data analysis and information processing. They are the basis for the efficient use of data in various technology areas.

Types of structured data

Structured data can be available in different formats, each with specific use cases and benefits. Here are the most important species:

Meta tags

Meta tags are snippets of text that describe information about the content of a website for search engines. They play a key role in search engine optimization (SEO).


The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a flexible text format for structuring digital data. XML is often used for data exchange between different systems and platforms.

RSS feeds

RSS feeds allow users to receive regular updates of website content in a standardized format. They are particularly useful for following news and blog posts.


Microformats are small HTML patterns that embed information about people, places, events and more in websites. They make it easier for search engines to understand and index website content.

Rich Snippets

Rich snippets are enhanced search results that display additional information such as star ratings, prices and authors. They are based on structured data and improve the visibility and click-through rate of websites in the search results.

Table: Overview of the different types of structured data

Kind Description Areas of application
Meta tags Text snippets that describe website content for search engines. SEO
XML Flexible text format for data exchange. Data exchange, system integration
RSS feeds Enable regular updates of website content. News, Blogs
Microformats Small HTML patterns that give web page content context. Improvement of search engine indexing
Rich Snippets Advanced search results with additional information. Increase visibility and click-through rate in search results

By using these structured data formats, webmasters and developers can significantly improve the interpretability of their content by machines, leading to better SEO results and more efficient data analysis.

Advantages of structured data

Implementing structured data brings a number of significant benefits that can improve both visibility on the web and the efficiency of internal data processes. Here are the key points:

Improvement of SEO

Structured data helps search engines to better understand the content and context of a website. This leads to an improved presentation in the search results and can increase the click rate.

  • Increased visibility: Websites with structured data often have a better chance of being highlighted in search results.
  • Rich snippets: By displaying additional information such as ratings and prices directly in the search results, websites can attract the attention of users.

Facilitating data analysis

Structured data facilitates the automation of data analysis, as it is available in a standardized format that can be processed more easily by analysis tools.

  • Faster insights: Automated tools can efficiently analyze structured data, leading to faster and more accurate insights.
  • Better decision making: With easily accessible data, companies can make more informed decisions.

Increased efficiency in data processing

By standardizing data formats, processes that use structured data can be automated and accelerated.

  • Automation: Many processes that require manual data interpretation can be automated through the use of structured data.
  • Integration: Structured data formats such as XML and JSON facilitate data exchange between different systems and platforms.

Use of structured data:

Advantage Description
Improvement of SEO Better understanding and presentation in search engines.
Facilitating data analysis Easier and faster analysis thanks to standardized format.
Increased efficiency in data processing Automation and acceleration of data processes.

These advantages illustrate how essential structured data is for modern web technologies and data processing. They provide a solid basis for a wide range of applications, from improving online presence to optimizing internal data processing.

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits, what about the applications of structured data?

Areas of application for structured data

Structured data is used in a variety of areas, each with specific advantages and improvements. Here are some of the most important areas of application:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Improving visibility: By using structured data, websites can communicate their content more effectively to search engines, which leads to improved visibility.
  • Creation of rich snippets: Structured data enables the display of rich snippets in the search results, which can attract users with additional information and increase the click rate.

Database management

  • Efficiency: Structured data facilitates the storage, retrieval and management of data in databases by providing a clear structure and query options.
  • Interoperability: Standardization enables the exchange of data between different database systems and applications.

Machine learning and AI

  • Data quality: High-quality, structured data is a basic prerequisite for training effective machine learning models.
  • Faster processing: Structured data formats facilitate the pre-processing of data for machine learning, which shortens development time.

Implementation of structured data

The implementation of structured data in web projects and databases follows specific guidelines and best practices to maximize the benefits mentioned above.

Marking basics with provides a common vocabulary for structured data on the web that is supported by search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. By using this vocabulary, website operators can clearly define their content and thus improve its findability and presentation in search engines.

JSON-LD vs. microdata

  • JSON-LD: A JavaScript-based format that is inserted into the header area of a web page and separates the structured data from the HTML structure.
  • Microdata: An approach that integrates structured data directly into HTML markup, linking the data directly to the content it describes.

Best practices for implementation

  • Correct use of The selection of relevant schemas and the precise specification of properties are crucial for effectiveness.
  • Checking the implementation: Tools such as the Google Structured Data Testing Tool help with checking and troubleshooting structured data on websites.

By making sensible use of structured data in these areas, companies and developers can increase the efficiency of their processes, improve the visibility of their content and ultimately achieve better results in their projects.

Structured data and SEO

The integration of structured data is a critical factor for success in modern search engine optimization (SEO). Here we show how structured data influences SEO and what role it plays in creating rich snippets and improving ranking and visibility.

The role of structured data in SEO

Structured data helps search engines to better understand the context and content of a website. This understanding is crucial for assigning the page to relevant search queries.

  • Improved crawling: Search engines can crawl and index websites with structured data more easily.
  • Contextualization: They provide search engines with additional information about the meaning and context of the page, which can increase its relevance in search results.

Creation of rich snippets

Rich snippets expand the conventional search results with additional information that is displayed directly in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). This can include ratings, price ranges, authors or event dates.

  • Higher click-through rate (CTR): Rich snippets can increase visibility and encourage users to click on the search result sooner.
  • Better user experience: They provide users with useful information before they click, which improves the quality of the user experience.

Effects on ranking and visibility

While Google has officially confirmed that structured data alone is not a direct ranking factor, it does contribute indirectly to SEO performance.

  • Indirect benefits: The improved presentation in the search results and the increased click rate can send positive signals to search engines, which in turn can have a positive influence on the ranking.
  • Competitive advantage: Websites that use structured data effectively can stand out from the competition and improve their visibility and ranking.

Summary of the SEO benefits of structured data:

Advantage Description
Improved crawling Enables search engines to crawl and index more efficiently.
Contextualization Helps with the more precise assignment of websites to search queries.
Creation of rich snippets Increases visibility and click-through rate by providing additional information in the search results.
Indirect ranking advantages Can indirectly improve the ranking through positive user signals.

The implementation of structured data should therefore be considered an essential part of any SEO strategy and on-page optimization. It is not only responsible for an improved presentation in the search results, but also helps to improve the general findability and user experience.

Next, we will look at the challenges and solutions when implementing structured data.

Challenges and solutions

Implementing structured data is not always a straightforward process. Various challenges can arise, from technical difficulties to misunderstandings about best practices. Here are some common challenges and the corresponding solutions:

Common errors during implementation

  • Incorrect markups: Structured data often contains errors in the syntax or schema that can impair its effectiveness.
  • Excessive use: The excessive or incorrect use of structured data, especially in irrelevant contexts, can be perceived by search engines as spamming.
  • Outdated information: Structured data that is not regularly updated can be misleading and affect the user experience.

Verification and validation of structured data

  • Use of testing tools: Tools such as the Google Structured Data Testing Tool or the Rich Results Test make it possible to check structured data for errors and ensure that it is implemented correctly.
  • Regular reviews: To ensure that structured data is current and accurate, it should be reviewed regularly and updated as needed.

Tools and resources

  • Google Structured Data Markup Helper: An intuitive tool from Google that simplifies the creation of structured data by helping users to place the right markups directly in the HTML code.
  • The official website of offers comprehensive documentation and examples for the use of various schemas.

Table: Solutions for common challenges

The challenge Solution
Faulty markups Use of test tools for verification and correction
Excessive use Compliance with best practices and relevant application
Outdated information Regular checks and updates

By being aware of these challenges and utilizing the resources available, webmasters and developers can take full advantage of structured data and avoid the most common pitfalls.

With the right implementation and maintenance, structured data can make a significant contribution to improving online presence and the efficiency of data processing.

The future of structured data

The future of structured data looks promising, with trends and developments aimed at further improving the efficiency of data processing and opening up new fields of application. Here’s a look at what we can expect:

Trends and developments

  • Advanced applications for AI and machine learning: Structured data is increasingly being used to improve machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms by providing accurate and well-organized data sets.
  • Growing importance of voice search and virtual assistants: With the increasing use of voice search technologies and virtual assistants such as Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant, the need to make content optimizable for these platforms through structured data is growing.
  • Automation and personalization in e-commerce: Structured data helps to create personalized shopping experiences and drive automation in e-commerce by providing detailed product information.

Structured data for voice assistants

Optimization for voice assistants requires structured data that enables precise responses to verbal queries. This includes the use of schemas that define places, people, events and FAQs, to name but a few.

Outlook for new fields of application

  • Healthcare: In healthcare, structured data can help to manage patient data more efficiently and drive research forward.
  • Smart home technologies: The integration of structured data into smart home systems enables improved automation and more intuitive user interaction.
  • Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR): For AR and VR applications, structured data provides a basis for creating realistic and interactive experiences.

The ongoing development and application of structured data points to a future where data can be used even more seamlessly and intuitively to create personalized, efficient and innovative technology solutions.


Structured data is a powerful tool in the digital landscape that is revolutionizing the way we process and present information. From improving SEO and user experience on the web to enabling advanced applications in AI, e-commerce and beyond, their potential is enormous.

Summary of the importance of structured data

Structured data provides a structured and efficient method of making information machine-readable, which significantly improves its analysis, processing and presentation. They are a crucial factor in optimizing digital content and creating rich, interactive user experiences.