We are happy to announce we have released a new JSON+LD module this morning. This module has been tested very thoroughly, but is still being released as a beta and it is not in your module feed. There is a download link at the end of this blog post if you want to download and test the module out.

So what is JSON+LD?

JSON+LD stands for JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data. That doesn’t explain much does it? I am sure you are familiar with rich snippets though aren’t you? JSON+LD is the new format for replacing microdata rich snippets. Most themes currently offer rich snippets in the microdata format. The way the microdata format works is that it marks up code that is already on the page in a contextual format, telling search engines “hey, this is the price”, or “this is the manufacturer right here”. One of the main limitations with microdata is that it cannot handle data that is not on the page very well. For instance, what if your theme does not display the manufacturer logo, but if you want to send that additional information you cannot really with microdata.

Another huge benefit of sending the rich snippet data in JSON+LD format is that it can be updated easily. If search engines start supporting more, even richer data, merchants are no longer held hostage by their themes. This is especially important if you have a custom theme, or you have customized a theme, upgrading your theme could not be an option. This is another reason why it is important to have the rich snippet data using the JSON+LD format.

More data

I mentioned before with the new module we are able to send over more data. Below is some of the new data we are able to send over:

  • Complete organization data
  • Data on founders in the organization
  • Contact information for search cards
  • Linking of social media sites
  • Product comment review data
  • Yotpo review data
  • Richer product information
  • Better breadcrumbs

What data can be sent in the future is virtually limitless. If you want to look at some of the data that can be included in the future, you can view schema.org to get an idea of the possibilities that this module can hold.

Not for production

Currently we are not recommending to run this module in production, unless you have worked with Schema before. One main reason is that your theme likely includes some of this information currently. The microdata from your theme would need to be stripped out, so you can rely on just the module to send the JSON+LD data. This is a task most people cannot handle on their own and would require a developer. We are aiming to bring the module to complete maturity around the first of the year 2018. In a release around that time we are going to strip all of the microdata from the default theme, so the theme will just rely on the JSON+LD module to send rich snippet data to search engines. In that time we will expand the module and likely several feeder modules, such as the product comments module and the blog module. So they can send even more data as well all through the JSON+LD module. We will likely include a set of hooks that developers of other modules can use as well, so they can latch on to the module and send data that we have not yet even thought of over to search engines.

The potential for this module is huge in the SEO and SERP realm. But is it still a beta level module, so treat it as a beta module. If you are experienced in JSON+LD and would like to help out, we would love the extra help with the module. Some of the documentation is not that great and hard to follow, so the more people helping the easier it can be to understand some of the more intricate data types.