June 22, 2021

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Google adds practice problems and math solver structured data and Search Console reports

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Earlier this year we reported how Google was testing displaying practice homework problems in the search results. Now this feature is fully live in Google Search and Google has come up with new structured data and Search Console reporting to help educational websites understand which pages have these types of content.

What practice problems look like. Google explained it as an “interactive feature tests your knowledge of high school math, chemistry and physics topics directly on Search.” Here is a GIF of it in action:

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Practice problem structured data. To help Google showcase your site’s content for these practice problems, you can add new supported structured data to your webpages. Google said “relevance to the user, including topicality, grade level and curriculum standards, can be key considerations for users deciding what learning material to use.” Google said it is encouraging “you to add all of the recommended properties that are relevant for your content.” Google laid out these high-level guidelines but you can see the full guidelines over here:

  • Add a  Quiz  property for each practice problem that you want to be featured. The structured data must appear on the same page as the practice problem a user can interact with on your web page.
  • Your web page must include all required structured data properties as described under required  Quiz  properties.
  • You must mark up a minimum of two practice problems per concept (for example, two practice problems for the concept “quadratic equation”). Focus on marking up the concepts and problems that you want to be eligible to appear in the Practice problems rich result. They can be on separate pages.

Here is what practice problems look like on desktop search:

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Math solver structured markup. Google also has new markup for math solver pages, specifically Google said “math solver page provides a tool to help users input their math equations and find explanations for how to solve a math problem.” Google said you can use using math solver structured data, you can make your site eligible to be featured on Google Search when users enter a math equation into the Google Search bar.

Math Solver structured data is only for official math solvers. Google does not want you to add this structured data to pages where users cannot submit math equations for a step-by-step solution.

Here is what it looks like in search:

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New rich result status reports in Search Console. With this, Google launched new reports in Google Search Console’s rich results status report to help you debug issues with both practice problems and math solver markup. Google said these reports will “show all errors, warnings, and valid items for pages with structured data.”

Here is a screenshot of the report:

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Rich results test updated. Google also updated its rich results testing tool to support these two new structured data markups. You can post your code snippet in the box in this tool or paste the URL of a page. The test shows any errors or suggestions for your structured data as seen in the screenshot below:

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Why we care. If you are in the education online content business, you may want to leverage these new structured data types to get more exposure in the Google Search results. These may help increase your click-through rates on some of your snippets in the search results and it may help you gain more traffic to your site. It also may lead to less clicks, if the answer is solved directly on Google’s site but you should be able to track that within Search Console if they add this data to the performance report.


About The Author

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Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.
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