At Pubcon in November I was honored to join some really smart folks on the Schema/Semantic Markup panel. I talked about and gave examples of my theory that structured data was looking like the beta/proving ground for PPC features. My example was the initial ability to mark up songs that could be played on your website or in rich snippets – then playing songs in the knowledge panel became a pay-to-play feature you could only get via AdWords.
Google is, after all, a for-profit company. So if they can figure out how to incentivize us to give them data, and then they can monetize that data, why wouldn’t they?
So we need to have this in the back of our mind. Google asking us to mark up structured data with Schema.org type vocabulary is Google asking us “who is willing to give us this data and how can we incentivize them to do so?” Now that we’re giving them the data – Google is moving into the realm of “How do we monetize this?”
Last week Google AdWords announced the inclusion of Dynamic Structured Snippets in AdWords ads. This data will be pulled from the website and include it in your ad. Google indicates this is in effort to give the searcher more information about what they can expect to find if they click on that ad. The data is pulled from the website markup of brands of shoes carried or flight paths and deals offered. It looks like they’re scanning the code for schema.org/flight or schema.org/brand markup and pulling that into the dynamic snippet. They haven’t defined exactly WHICH protocols they’re looking for, but this makes sense.
I can’t trigger this feature in a query yet, but that doesn’t mean it’s hiding – so keep your eyes open and share the queries you see below!
Right now this is only included in Flight, Retail and Hotel searches but Google anticipates having more verticals by the end of the year. If you’d rather NOT have a structured snippet appear in your ads, you can opt-out via a form on Google’s website.