Google math solver pointers require accuracy

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Over the weekend, Google added several new technical and content quality guidelines to the Math Solver help documentation for structured data. The new guidelines list a number of requirements to be able to display math solution and exercise results in Google Search.

Technical guidelines. The new tech guidelines require your website to have the structured data that your server can handle the Googlebot’s crawling of your website, how to deal with duplicate math solver elements and make sure the content is visible and not behind one Paywall hides.

Here are these guidelines:

  • Add MathSolver structured data to the home page of your site.
  • Make sure your host load settings allow frequent crawls.
  • If you have multiple identical copies of the same math solver hosted at different URLs, use the canonical URLs on each copy of the page.
  • Google doesn’t allow math solvers that are completely hidden behind a login or paywall. As soon as users navigate from the feature on Google to your website, the solution and step-by-step instructions for their original problem must be available to them. Additional content can be located behind a login or a paywall.

Content guidelines. The new content guidelines aim to ensure that the content of your math solver tasks is non-commercial and provides accurate and quality-based answers. Here are the new guidelines:

  • We do not allow advertising that is disguised as math solver, such as: B. those that are published by third parties (e.g. partner programs).
  • With this feature, you are responsible for the accuracy and quality of your math solver. If our quality review processes reveal that a certain amount of your data is inaccurate, depending on its severity, your solver may be taken out of service until you have resolved the issues. This applies to:
    • The accuracy of the types of problems your solver can solve.
    • The accuracy of your solutions to math problems that your solver declares solvable.

This is what practical problems look like. Google explained it as an “interactive feature that tests your knowledge of math, chemistry, and physics topics right in the search”. Here’s a GIF of it in action:

Google added the help documents for structured data back in March of this year. The company added these new guidelines late last week.

Another change to the help document is that Google removed the instructions on how to markup the solution page and says it is okay to remove any existing markup on the solution page.

Why we care. If you are in the online educational content business, you may want to take advantage of these new structured data types to get more exposure in Google search results. This can help increase your click-through rates on some of your snippets in search results and drive more traffic to your website. It may also result in fewer clicks if the answer is resolved directly on the Google website, but you should be able to see this in Search Console when this data is added to the performance report.

If you want to show up for Math Solver rich results, make sure you follow both technical and content guidelines.

About the author

Barry Schwartz is an editor at 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 the Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is called Cartoon Barry and can be followed here on Twitter.

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