Google’s Rich Results Test came out of beta in July with support for all Google Search rich result features like carousels, images, or other non-textual elements. At that time, Google announced it would be deprecating the Structured Data Testing Tool, which SEOs, developers, and site owners have relied on for testing structured markup and troubleshooting schema issues.
The SEO community reacted strongly to this change, because the Rich Results Test only validates structured data that is supported by Google. It also does not provide much useful feedback on errors.
“This is awful,” SEO consultant Barry Adams said in response to the change. “The SDTT is a tool that validates ALL schemas and helps make the web a semantically richer place. The RR test only supports a tiny narrow subset of Google-approved schemas. You’re downgrading the web with this move.”
When Google announced the Structured Data Testing Tool’s deprecation on Twitter, comments from various web professions indicated widespread disappointment in the decision.
“The new tool is painfully slow,” digital marketing consultant Ian Lurie said. “The old tool showed a structured data result for the URL tested above. It provided useful feedback and supported industry-wide standardization. The truth is, you’re replacing a great structured data tool for an inferior Google-specific one.”
After taking note of all the negative feedback, Google announced last week that it will no longer be deprecating the tool. Instead, the company plans to migrate it to a new domain:
To better support open standards and development experience, we’re refocusing the Structured Data Testing Tool and migrating it to a new domain serving the schema.org community by April 2021. The main purpose of the tool will be to check syntax and compliance of markup with schema.org standards.
Google is making some changes to the tool to differentiate it from the Rich Results Test. The Structured Data Testing tool will not be able to check for Google Search rich result types. It will be refocused to validate only schema.org properties, and is recommended for validating types that Google Search doesn’t yet consume.