Google search results will support an upgraded type of schema markup designed for special announcements related to COVID-19. The markup can be included now. However, it is not visible in search results. Google has announced on Twitter, Google will be supporting the schema markup in search results soon.
Structured data for COVID-19 special announcements can be utilized by a company publishing urgent announcements which ‘’affect schedules and other aspects of everyday life.’’ Some examples of special announcements include:
- Announcement of a shelter-in-place directive.
- Closure notice(for instance, closing public transportation)
- Travel restrictions
- Quarantine guidelines
- Notification of a new drive-through testing center
- Announcement of an event transitioning from offline to online, or cancellation
- Disease spread statistics and maps
- Announcement of revised hours and shopping restrictions
The markup of a shelter-in-place announcement looks like this-
Bing is a way ahead of Google in adopting the new special announcement markup. Apart from supporting the markup in search results, Bing utilizes it for collecting data in its new COVID-19 tracking map.
Since Bing’s announcement last week, new properties have been incorporated to this special announcement markup. The shelter-in-place announcement, for instance, is a new property that was added since last week. As the coronavirus situation escalates there may be further properties added when new needs arise. The ability to markup quarantine guidelines is a property which has also been included.
Markup meant for risk assessment and testing centers
Healthcare providers and government health agencies publishing information related to risk assessments and testing centers can utilize two types of markup: gettingTestInfo and CovidTestingFacility.
Bing might utilize this markup to display more details when people search for nearby testing information. Bing uses the criteria mentioned below while selecting testing information for displaying:
- The website must be an official website for a well-known healthcare facility or government health agency.
- The gettingTestedInfomarkup must refer to a page which specifies what assessment is necessary before being tested at any particular testing location.
- The testing facility information must refer to URLs and facility locations already associated with the provider or agency. Listing the facilities of other supporters isn’t supported.
Markup meant for travel restrictions
Government agencies, travel agencies, airlines, hotels and other travel providers who publish information about travel restrictions can use two new types of markup: travelBans and publicTransportClosuresInfo. This markup is used to offer more details on updated hours, closures, and guidelines for travel.
Bing uses the criteria given below when choosing travel restrictions to display:
- The site must be an official site for a famous government agency, airline, travel agency, hotel, airline, or other travel provider.
- The location must be specific for a travel ban or public transport closure.
- The name of the special announcement should be easily recognizable within the body of the web page describing the ban or closure info.
- The special announcement must include the date it was posted and time it expires (in case it is applicable).
More information on how these tags can be implemented and used is available at Schema.org.