Beta Test Google Structured Data Dynamic Items

  • Published in Blog by Tassos Marinos on Wednesday, 02 May 2018

Beta Test Google Structured Data Dynamic Items

The sudden rise in popularity of Google Structured Data extension during the past year, especially after implementing Integrations with the most popular Joomla! Extensions, gave rise to an important issue regarding the Content Types creation.

Here follows a list of some of the most popular relevant questions I receive, so that you may grasp the whole idea.

  • “Can I create the Article Content Type for all of my articles in batch mode?”
  • “I have 3000 products. Do I have to create their Product Content Type one by one, or can I do it dynamically?”
  • “Is it possible to automatically create Structured Data for each new article I create for certain categories?”

As you must have noticed, they all share the part of “Automatic and dynamic creation of Structured”. Unfortunately, my answer to all these questions had been negative for a long time. But this is about to change. Let’s analyze this issue further.

The issue

Though the process of creating Structured Data for a specific page seems like a pretty straightforward task that can be completed in less than 1 minute, things get harder when our website contains a few hundred articles.

Let’s take a look at an example: Assume that we have 400 blog posts and 50 product pages, and that we wish to create their respective Article and Product Content Type. Using the current version of the extension, we would need to create the Content Type Items one by one for each and every separate page. That means creating 400 blog posts + 30 product pages = 430 different items.

Obviously, the aforementioned procedure is both ineffective and inefficient, considering that the time required performing that repetitive procedure would be prohibitive for present purposes. Assume though that we actually found some time to create the Content Types one by one. What about next week though, when we get 5 new articles which also need Structured Data? We’ll have to repeat the same process.

The solution

The solution is provided by Dynamic Items. A new, magical section added to the component, changing the way in which we match Structured Data to our pages. Assuming that the current process of creating Content Types for our 430 pages would take 2-3 days to complete (just for the existing pages), using Dynamic Items would allow us to complete this in less than 2 minutes in total. How do we achieve this? Instead of matching one Content Type to each of our separate articles, we would simply match it to article categories, assisted by the Filter/Conditions available.

Beta Test Dynamic Items

You can get access to the beta version which includes the new Dynamic Items section by heading to the Developer Releases section and downloading the Google Structured Data 3.2.0-RC2 release. Keep in mind that since the Dynamic Items section is a Pro only feature, you will need an active subscription of Google Structured Data extension in order to be able to access it. The installation process is simple, and you don’t need to uninstall the previous version, while it can be performed through the Joomla Install Manager, like any other extension.

A word of warning

While we are careful, mistakes do happen or unforeseen bugs do enter. If you decide to try out the beta version, always keep in mind that this is prerelease software and you should therefore keep regular backups.

How to create a Dynamic Item

Once you’ve installed the beta version, navigate to Components -> Google Structured Data and click on the new option that appears on the left bar, named Dynamic Items. To find more details on how you can start creating Dynamic Items, follow the instructions as described in the Working with Dynamic Items guide.

Your feedback is important

Though its operation has been thoroughly tested, I would still like your help testing it, so that we can see how it actually functions in your own website, I can listen to your suggestions regarding the UI and the process of creating a Dynamic Item, and get ahead of any bugs and issues to obtain a stable new version.

I would like to thank everyone who is willing to help me beta test Google Structured Data extension and make it even better.