Google Data Highlighter Tool for Video Games

Have you ever noticed that when searching for a game, some sites have beautiful looking results page that show a small thumbnail, a rating and the amount of votes?  You can have that too, if you use Google’s Data Highlighter Tool.  Google uses information that you give to it, to give users specialized search results, that offer more pertinent information directly in the search results.  These so called rich snippets, give potential customers the information they are looking for, which gives them much more of a reason to visit your site for more useful information.

Google Data Highlighter for Video Games

[heading]Structured Data[/heading]With the Google Data Highlighter you will be highlighting “structured data” on your site, which gives Google the information it needs to “highlight” your data in the search results.  Before the Data Highlighter Tool you would have to go into the source code yourself to identify the key pieces of information.  Now it is much simpler and less technical, so much so that I will show you how to use it to highlight the data on your site.  There are plenty of other blogs that show you how to use the tool, but nothing specifically for someone who owns and runs a video gaming site, so hopefully this will help you out!

[heading]Step by Step Guide to Data Highlighting for Video Games[/heading]1. Obviously you’re going to need to have access to the Google Webmaster Tools for your website.  Before we begin, you’ll need at least that.

2. Once you’re logged in, select the “Data Highlighter” which is underneath the “Search Appearance” drop down menu in the navigation bar on your left.  
*Check the image gallery above for an example

3. Click on “Start Highlighting”, which will bring up a URL entry box, you’re going to want to pick a game review page from your website (eg.  There is no specific tool for video games, but I’ve found that “Software Applications” works the best to highlight your video game pages.

4. After Google renders your website in Webmaster Tools you can simply mouse-over certain areas to highlight the pieces of information you wish to flag for Google.  The right hand side shows what type of information they are seeking.  You do not have to flag everything, and in certain circumstances, you won’t be able to.  For video games you’ll definitely want to focus on the name of the game, the price, the category, publisher, a URL to play, a rating and the reviewer of the game.  
*Check the image gallery above for an example

5. When all of your desired data is highlighted, the tool will then ask you to create a page set.  This will be helpful if you plan on tagging all of your game pages, which you should definitely do.  You will be given a few examples of other game pages on your site, and you may just have to verify that Google has highlighted the correct areas, before it finally allows you to publish your data set.

Now you will have all of your data highlighted and the rich snippets applied to the search results.  The results will not happen instantly, but after your site has been re-indexed, you should start seeing the new information show up in Google Search.

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