Google made the announcement on their developer site. As of January 29, 2021, Data Vocabulary will not be eligible in Google Rich Snippets.
They were getting set to discontinue the use of Data-vocabulary before COVID hit but decided to delay it. If you were in the know last year and were using Data-vocabulary then you’ve probably made the switch to Schema 100%. If not, you still have plenty of time to make the switch.
Google said they decided they wanted to focus on one Structured Data type and are now focusing solely on Schema. Besides that, Data Vocabulary isn’t around anymore as an organization.
Schema is by far the most popular of the two. Most people don’t use or have even heard of Data-vocabulary. If you’re a WordPress user, you have more than likely at least heard of Structured data.
What is Structured Data?
Schema and Structured Data are two separate things. Schema is an organization that provides “Schema’s”. It is a”vocabulary” in Structured Data format.
Google uses structured data to clearly understand the content on your page if the mark-up is applied. If your HTML pages are marked up correctly they may be eligible for Google Rich Snippets. This is why Structured Data is so important in SEO.
Let’s say you sell headphones. If you add structured the pages you sell them on and to specific products they might appear in the product carousel in Google Search. The carousel is triggered when a user types in keywords with an intent to purchase.
If a user types “best prices on beats headphones”, it would likely display Beat Headphones from various online stores. The only way to get your products to display in the carousel is with Structured Data using Schema.
It can also be used for local business websites. For example, if you have a website for a small local business, you can markup your HTML web pages using “LocalBusiness” Schema.
You can mark up your business address, business hours, phone number and you can even mark up the price range of your services and products.
If you are using Structured Data make sure it is Schema. If you use Data Vocabulary when January 2021 rolls around say goodbye to any rich snippets you might have.
You can test your Structured Data using Google’s Rich Results testing tool. If you are interested in checking out what else you can apply structured data to, visit schema.org. They have an easy-to-read catalogue of every available Scheme.