Google has event schema markup for standard (Physical location), online and mixed standard, and online events. However, with the COVID19 around the world, there is uncertainty for many of the events that have been scheduled prior to COVID. Many events are either canceled, postponed, or move to an online-only format. Google’s top priority is to show users the latest and most up to date information within the search result. To help support this, they have added some new, optional properties to Event schema markup.
These properties apply to all regions and languages. This is one part of Googles overall efforts in schema updates to support publishers and users. Here are some important tips on keeping Google up to date on your events.
Update the Status of the Event
One of the optional properties being added is ‘eventStatus’ property. This allows site owners to indicate whether an event has been canceled, postponed, or rescheduled.
This is extremely useful information as it allows Google to show users the current status of the event, instead of dropping the event from search result altogether.
If the event has been canceled: Set the eventStatus property to EventCancelled and keep the original date in the startDate of the event.
If the event has been postponed (but the date isn’t known yet): Keep the original date in the startDate of the event until you know when the event will take place and update the eventStatus to EventPostponed. The startDate property is required to help identify the unique event, and we need the date original startDate until you know the new date. Once you know the new date information, change the eventStatus to EventRescheduled and update the startDate and endDate with the new date information.
If the event has been rescheduled to a later date: Update the startDate and endDate with the relevant new dates. Optionally, you can also mark the eventStatus field as EventRescheduled and add the previousStartDate.
If the event has moved from in-person to online-only: Optionally update the eventStatus field to indicate the change with EventMovedOnline.
For more information on how to implement the eventStatus property, refer to the developer documentation.
Update the Status for Virtual/Online Events
We are seeing more and more events are switching to online only. Google is actively working to show this information to people within google search. If your event is happening only online, make sure to use the following properties:
- Set the location to the VirtualLocation type.
- Set the eventAttendanceMode property to OnlineEventAttendanceMode.
For more information on how to implement the VirtualLocation type, refer to the developer documentation.
After you make changes to your markup, make sure you update Google. We recommend that you make your sitemap available automatically through your server. This is the best way to make sure that your new and updated content is highlighted to search engines as quickly as possible.