Event Schema Update: Postponed and Cancelled Events in Search
Google just released an update to Schema that is wildly important to event organizers, planners, and clients. If your event is open to the public or indexed on Google, then take note, and act fast.
You want anyone searching for your event on Google to have the accurate info, right?
Because of the many restrictions placed on public gatherings due to the Coronavirus, if your event was canceled, postponed, or moved online, you can get that information into Google Search.
Who Needs To Know These changes?
These quickly enacted schema updates will ensure that anyone searching your event online has the latest information.
If you’re already familiar with Schema, and you’re comfortable implementing changes to your website, then scroll down to read about the latest updates from Google. If you don’t know, then let’s get you the information you need right now.
Don’t stress it if this is all Greek to you, and you’re not a web developer. In most cases, as long as your event details are up to date wherever listed, then you’ll be in good shape. For geeks like me, this update is pretty cool.
What is Event Schema?
Schema is a way to structure information on the internet, particularly on websites. Google looks at Schema to understand if a business is local if a web page is a news article, and so much more.
If you’ve listed an event on a website, Schema describes essential information about the event. When someone searches for “events near me,” or “what time does the concert begin,” Google can provide accurate and up to date information to attendees. You can see a list of event-related schema properties here.
Adding Event Schema To Your Website
Adding Schema properties to your website is done by tweaking the HTML code. If you’re not comfortable with HTML, then it’s best done by a web developer, but don’t worry. If you’re using a website builder like Wix or content management system like WordPress, you’re in luck. Some plugins will handle this for you, or you can use Data Highlighter.
If you use websites like Eventbrite and other third-party ticketing sites to post events, then the updates will need to be enacted by them. They’re likely integrated with Google, so you probably won’t have to worry about it. Go grab a cup of tea and relax.
Related article: Google Analytics for Event Planners
Update Your Canceled, Postponed, or Virtual Events in Search
You can see the full details here, but to quote Google:
Add the eventStatus property: Use this property to tell Google that the event has been canceled, postponed, rescheduled, or happening as planned.
If your event is virtual, specify VirtualLocation for the event location and OnlineEventAttendanceMode for the eventAttendanceMode property.
Update Google when your event pages change: Provide a sitemap to Google, and keep the lastmod attributes up to date. If your site host generates your sitemap automatically, it’s taken care of for you.
In my opinion, the option for a virtual event is a neat touch and downright considerate. Overbearing overlords of the digital world that they are, this is a cool move.
What else you can do to keep your attendees up to date
I’m an email newsletter fanatic, and you should definitely send out an email with updates. If you ask me, I reckon you ought to be sending multiple emails, just in case.
Text message updates are probably the most reliable, so if you’re able to do that, I’d heartily recommend it. People will appreciate it in these uncertain times.
Good luck, and stay safe out there! The ThymeBase team loves and supports the event planner community, so if you have any questions about this stuff, or event planning software, reach out!