How to Optimize the Search Result Look of Your Book Review Post on Google

Google Webmaster Tools has now a new feature called Data Highlighter, in place of the defunct Google Authorship feature. While the two aren't the same, they follow the same pattern of fetching microformats from your page. The late authorship feature would fetch your G+ profile photo that will look visible on google search engine results when search queries would lead to one of your written posts which is not practical for people who don't use Google Plus for their website author profile. Data highlighting is way better than that. It's perceptive and very practical.

If the late Google Authorship uses your G+ photo for a post you wrote, the Data Highlighter would feature an image of the thing you wrote about which is useful for a searcher to know you're talking about the very thing that he's looking for and not another. So make sure to include an image in your post. It's small wonder Google deleted the former feature.

For example, if you're a movie critic and you post a review of a movie weeks before the premier, chances are would-be cinema attendees would search for a review of the film. They'll type in the name of the film plus review and if you get lucky, Google will feature your post on the first page.

The Google Webmaster Data Highlighter feature will include your name as a reviewer, a photo of the reviewed item, your rate, date and time of the review, manufacturer of the item, etc. It all depends on the things that you highlight.

Highlighting is very helpful in reviewing things such as books, movies, games, gadgets, hotels, restaurants, services, cars, other businesses and whatever one can review.

Because in this website I write more posts about books than other things, let me walk you through how to use the Google Webmaster Data Highlighter in terms of book reviews.

If you haven't registered your website to Google Webmaster Tools yet, then do it first by submitting a sitemap of your website there. Wait for at least 24 hours for the google bot crawlers to crawl your page unless you're confident that google has already crawled your website prior to submitting your sitemap to the Webmaster Tools.

If you're done setting up your website for Google Websmaster and/or your website has already been crawled by Google, then follow these steps (Note that I'm using this website as an example):

Go to your Webmaster account and click the link for your website:

On the dashboard, toggle on Search Appearance then click Data Highlighter:

Click the button 'Start Highlighting':

Enter the URL of your page, toggle the type of information for your page, and select the type of tagging that you want:

If your website is ALL about books and the structure of data is roughly the same all throughout, then click “Tag this page and others like it”. The Data Highlighter will include other similar pages on the same month. My website is combobulated with other things like movie reviews and this blogging trick so I selected “Tag just this page”. Doing so, like I did will require for me to highlight every book review post one by one. I'm doing this because the highlighter is not as intelligent as I thought it would be. When I clicked “Tag this page and others like it”, it included some of my non-book review posts for the same month and I couldn't deselect them.

After choosing the right tagging option for you, you will see the highlighting interface that will lead us to the next step.

Highlight the details of your book review.

Data Highlighter fetches book information in the following order:
  • Title
  • Image
  • Author
  • Publishing Date
  • Publisher
  • Language
  • Genre
  • ISBN
  • Average Rating:
    • Rating
    • Votes
  • Review:
    • Reviewer
    • Rating
    • Date
You don't have to write everything on the list in your review. It's hard to have your very own voting system like what famous movie critics have on their sites. For book review sites which do have a voting system, nobody would bother clicking on the stars. Besides, it's confusing on which you're supposed to rate, the book or the review? Furthermore, you don't have to write the details in that order. If you already have your own data structure, the data highlighter will perceptively know the details of your similar posts.

As an example, for the title, you can just highlight the title of the book from your post title:

Click on the image you wish to appear on the search result snippet:

Highlight the name of the author of the book:

  • Now, don't misinterpret this author as you. Your info as the author of the post is put at the toggle item “Review” at the bottom of the Highlighter feature. I know that you aren't stupid but I had been stupid when highlighting the title of the book (I mistook for post title) which is really embarrassing.
Another mistake I noticed

Highlight other details:

This is where you come up as the author of the post.

The Highlighting feature is very perceptive. I use images for my rating system and the highlighter could read that.

This image has 5/5 stars and the highlighter translate the image into text. Your search result would include its very own yellow star rate system.

The data highlighter could read a date automatically. But since I have a heavily modified datestamp, I have to input the date details one by one.

Hit the publish button:

That's it! Highlighting is pretty easy but I have to write a tutorial about this after realizing my own stupidity. Was this post helpful? Comment below.

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