New in structured data: discussion forum and profile page markup

New in structured data: discussion forum and profile page markup

Monday, November 27, 2023

Today we’re announcing support for profile page and discussion forum structured data for use in Google Search, including new reports in Search Console. This markup works with Google Search features that are designed to show first-person perspectives from social media platforms, forums, and other communities. Implementing this structured data will help ensure what Search shows in these features is as accurate and complete as possible.

An illustration of a Perspectives filter in search results

Highlighting creator information and identifying forum content

An illustration of creator information in search results

ProfilePage markup is designed for any site where creators (either people or organizations) share first-hand perspectives. It allows Google Search to better identify information about the creator, such as their name or social handle, profile photo, follower count, or the popularity of their content. Our Perspectives and Discussions and forums features both make use of ProfilePage markup.

An illustration of the Discussions and Forums feature

DiscussionForumPosting markup is designed for any forum-style site where people collectively share first-hand perspectives. It allows Google Search to better identify forum sites and online discussions across the web. Forums with this markup are considered for having their content appear in the Perspective and “Discussions and forums” features. However, the use of the markup does not guarantee appearance.

Q&A markup vs. forum markup

If you’re already using Q&A markup for your question and answer themed user forum, we are also updating the Q&A structured data documentation to be more in line with the richness of the new discussion forum guidelines.

You don’t need to use both types of structured data on the same page; instead, we recommend that you use the one that’s best suited to your use case:

  • Q&A forums: If your forum is structured by a question that’s followed by answers, use Q&A markup.
  • For general forums: If your forum structure is more general and isn’t strictly question and answer content, use DiscussionForumPosting.

Verifying and monitoring your structured data with Search Console

To help you monitor discussion threads and profile page markup issues, we’re launching profile page and discussion forum rich result reports in Search Console that show errors, warnings, and valid items related to your marked-up pages. We’re also providing support for both features in the Rich Results Test to help you test and validate your markup.

Profile page rich result status report
Discussion forum rich result status report

We would love to hear your thoughts on how discussion thread and profile page structured data works for you. Send us any feedback either through social media or our forum.

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