Why you should stop relying on theme microdata for your Shopify store’s structured data

Before you can add Structured Data to your Shopify store, you’re confronted with several decisions. The one which will have the largest cost impact is:

Which format should you use? Microdata? RDFa? JSON-LD?

Both microdata and RDFa require you to add your structured data directly on your HTML elements.

This means that the HTML element for your product price needs to have the price microdata added. It also means that some parent element needs to set the datatype to product.

While this is a perfectly valid way of working, it makes your structured data very brittle and easy to break.

Any change to your theme that adds, removes, or moves around your content has the potential of changing your structured data so that it’s no longer valid. Even apps pose a risk to your microdata if they modify your theme.

(I’m looking at you, automatic currency apps…)

Invalid structured data = search engines aren’t going to like you.

An alternative to microdata and RDFa is JSON-LD.

Instead of having to add the structured data markup to the HTML elements, JSON-LD can be added to a page with a single block of data that contains all of the structured data needed for the page.

This keeps the data more organized, less prone to breaking as your theme changes, and also easier to update and maintain over the long-term.

That’s why I’m starting to recommend that every store uses JSON-LD for SEO. Some stores, maybe even your store, might have good structured data in place now but unless you’re careful with your theme, there’s a risk of breaking non-JSON-LD formats later.

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