A Guide to JSON-LD for Beginners

A Guide to JSON-LD for Beginners

Posted by alexis-sanders

What is JSON-LD?

JSON-LD stands for JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data, which consists of multi-dimensional arrays (think: list of attribute-value pairs).

It is an implementation format for structuring data analogous to Microdata and RDFa. Typically, in terms of SEO, JSON-LD is implemented leveraging the Schema.org vocabulary, a joint effort by Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex in 2011 to create a unified structured data vocabulary for the web. (However, Bing and other search engines have not officially stated their support of JSON-LD implementations of Schema.org.)

JSON-LD is considered to be simpler to implement, due to the ability to simply paste the markup within the HTML document, versus having to wrap the markup around HTML elements (as one would do with Microdata).

What does JSON-LD do?

JSON-LD annotates elements on a page, structuring the data, which can then be used by search engines to disambiguate elements and establish facts surrounding entities, which is then associated with creating a more organized, better web overall.

Figure 1 – A conceptual visualization of JSON-LD taking the unstructured content on the web, annotating, and structuring the content to create an organized, structured result.

Where in the HTML (for a webpage) does JSON-LD live?

Google recommends adding JSON-LD to the section of the HTML document; however, it’s okay if the JSON-LD is within the section. Google can also grasp dynamically generated tags in the DOM.

JSON-LD breakdown

The immutable tags (Think: You don’t need to memorize these, just copy/paste)