Google announced on 7th July that they are going to be ending support for their Structured Data Testing Tool. They will be replacing this with their Rich Results Test tool.

The Rich Results Test tool is now out of beta, and fully supports all Google Search rich result features.

When comparing both tools, it does seem that the Structured Data Testing Tool is much faster than the Rich Results Test tool. I would argue that the Rich Results Test is not as easy to use.

One of the main reasons people use these tools, is to see if their schema markup is valid, and shows no errors.

It is not clear when the Rich Results Test will fully replace the Structured Data Testing Tool, but I would suspect that we will see an update in the next few months.

Here is a screenshot of the current Structured Data Testing Tool:

Structured Data Testing Tool to be Replaced by Rich Results Test

Here is a screenshot of the Rich Results Test tool:

Rich Results Test Tool Example

Tool Comparison

I am going to look at 3 areas to compare each tool;

  1. Loading Speed
  2. Visual Design & Usability
  3. Errors & Warnings

Loading Speed

The first very noticeable difference when using the new Rich Results Test tool is the speed.

In a speed test, I timed how long it took each tool to load. I put my URL (https://phil-isherwood.co.uk) into each tool. The test with the Rich Results Test tool was with Google’s smartphone bot.

When fetching a URL with the Structured Data Testing Tool, it takes on average 5 seconds.

When testing a URL with the Rich Results Test tool, it takes on average 30 seconds.

It may not sound like much, but when you have been using a tool for years, with a load time of 5 seconds, it is quite the wait, especially an extra 25 seconds.

Visual Design & Usability

The visual design of the Structured Data Testing tool is very simple. Code is displayed on the left, and structured data that is detected is displayed on the right.

You can click into the boxes on the right side to see exactly what code has been detected. This will also highlight the code on the left, when you click it on the right.

Structured Data Testing Tool Example of Detected Data

The Rich Results Test has a different design, which first tells you if the code or page you entered, is eligible for rich results.

Rich Results Test Tool Example

This is then broken down into the detected items found in the code. You can click on the boxes to show what has been detected.

How to find your ‘Rendered HTML’ in the Rich Results Test tool

To see the code when you test a live URL, click on ‘See Rendered HTML’ or click on one of the items under the detected items box. It will then open the Rendered HTML on the right.

Render HTML with the Rich Results Test Tool

The code then appears on the right side, with items you click highlighted.

You can’t edit the code you see on the right side. To edit the code, you have to test a code snippet. When you test a code snippet you will get the code on the left, and you can edit it.

When you make a change, you can then re-run the test with Google’s smartphone or desktop bot.

Editing a Code Snippet with Rich Results Test Tool

Errors & Warnings

The main reason to use these tools is to find errors and warnings in your code, so you can fix them. Each tool displays these quite differently.

If there is an error or warning, you can see these at the top on the right side of the Structured Data Testing Tool.

Errors in Detected Code in the Structured Data Testing Tool

Editing Code

The best thing, and main difference between each tool, is that you can edit the code directly in the Structured Data Testing Tool – no matter if you test a live URL or code snippet.

Editing the code directly is the easiest way to find and fix errors. However with the Rich Results Test tool, you can only edit the code when you test a code snippet. You can’t edit the code when you test a live URL.

This makes it more difficult with the Rich Results Test, as you have to test the code itself. For some people, the issue is that you can’t find the code. This takes more time as you have to test the URL, find the code, then copy and paste to do another test.

Rich Results Test – Page Loading Issues

Page loading issues are new details shown in the Rich Results Test tool. If you are testing a live URL, these issues will show any resources that couldn’t be loaded, and any JavaScript console messages.

Rich Results Test Tool Page Loading Issues

After using each tool a good amount, I personally prefer the original Structured Data Testing Tool. It is faster and more user friendly. It will be a shame to see if go, but I am sure I am not the only with concerns about its usability.

FAQs

Yes, but is not clear as to how long it will be available. Google have stated that, “it will still be available for the time being”, and recommend people to use the new Rich Results Test tool.
It works just like the Structured Data Testing Tool. You can test a live URL or code snippet. But now you can test with Google’s smartphone or desktop bot.
Yes and No. If you test a live URL with the Rich Results Test tool, you cannot change the code. However, if you test code separately, you can edit it and re-test it.
Yes. The Rich Results Test tool links with data from Google Search Console. Meaning that when you see rich results data in your Search Console reports, this is the same rich results that can be tested for with the Rich Results tool.

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