Google is finally taking action against those site owners that are abusing event markup in the search results. Those caught will have their markup removed from the search results and receive a manual action.
Event spam started showing up a lot more frequently in the search results several months ago. Instead of using the markup to promote events – such as a venue promoting concerts or hockey games – they were using it to promote sales over certain dates or coupon codes.
For example, these coupon code sites (which appear to have not received manual actions yet) is promoting sales for specific stores.
Google has also updated their guidelines for events markup as well.
Avoid marking non-events as events:
- Don’t promote non-event products or services such as “Trip package: San Diego/LA, 7 nights” as events.
- Don’t add short-term discounts or purchase opportunities, such as: “Concert — buy your tickets now,” or “Concert – 50% off until Saturday.”
- Don’t mark business hours as events, such as: “Adventure park open 8 AM to 5PM.”
- Don’t mark coupons or vouchers as events, such as: “5% off your first order.”
If you are currently using this strategy, you will want to remove it before you get hit with a manual action, as you will lose all your search features from markup. Or you could take the risk, but be aware that it can take up to several weeks to get a response to a reconsideration request.
This also means if you have a competitor that is still showing event markup spam, you can file a spam report with Google which will result in the site losing their structured data search features until they remove the offending markup, file a reconsideration request and get it approved.
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