Google announced that they are penalizing websites for using spammy structured data markup. The big controversy is that Google will be applying this penalty based on incorrect usage of markup, REGARDLESS of whether it was actually spam or just user error.
This is the warning you will see in your Google Webmaster account:
“Markup on some pages on this site appears to use techniques such as marking up content that is invisible to users, marking up irrelevant or misleading content, and/or other manipulative behavior that violates Google’s Rich Snippet Quality guidelines.”
If you include authorship on your Home Page or Reviews on a page that doesn’t have reviews, you are misusing rich snippets and will most likely be penalized. Google is trying to help users of rich snippets by adding debug support for structured data. This change was made in December of 2013.
So what do you do? Make sure you have a Google Webmaster account hooked up to your site, so that you can see if issues are showing up. If you feel like all of this is something you need help with, reach out to an incredible internet marketing agency… like Incredible Marketing!
Incredible Marketing is a full-service internet marketing firm specializing in SEO and Social Media, Mobile Websites, and Custom Web Design. You can be Incredible too! Call us at 800-949-0133 or visit our website!