Fact Check

If you have a web page that reviews a claim made by others, you can include ClaimReview structured data on your web page. ClaimReview structured data can enable a summarized version of your fact check to display in Google Search results when your page appears in search results for that claim.

This guide describes the details on how to implement ClaimReview structured data. If you don’t want to add structured data manually, you can check out the Fact Check Markup Tool. To learn more, visit About the Fact Check Markup Tool.

How to add structured data

Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content. If you’re new to structured data, you can learn more about how structured data works.

Here's an overview of how to build, test, and release structured data. For a step-by-step guide on how to add structured data to a web page, check out the structured data codelab.

  1. Add the required properties. For information about where to put structured data on the page, watch JSON-LD structured data: Where to insert on the page.
  2. Follow the guidelines.
  3. Validate your code using the Rich Results Test.
  4. Deploy a few pages that include your structured data and use the URL Inspection tool to test how Google sees the page. Be sure that your page is accessible to Google and not blocked by a robots.txt file, the noindex tag, or login requirements. If the page looks okay, you can ask Google to recrawl your URLs.
  5. To keep Google informed of future changes, we recommend that you submit a sitemap. You can automate this with the Search Console Sitemap API.

Example

Imagine a page that evaluates the claim that the earth is flat. Here is what a search for "the world is flat" might look like in Google Search results if the page provides a ClaimReview element (note that the actual visual design may change):

Single claim review associated with a page

Here's an example of structured data on the page that hosts this fact check:


<html>
  <head>
    <title>The world is flat</title>
    <script type="application/ld+json">
    {
      "@context": "https://schema.org",
      "@type": "ClaimReview",
      "datePublished": "2016-06-22",
      "url": "http://example.com/news/science/worldisflat.html",
      "claimReviewed": "The world is flat",
      "itemReviewed": {
        "@type": "Claim",
        "author": {
          "@type": "Organization",
          "name": "Square World Society",
          "sameAs": "https://example.flatworlders.com/we-know-that-the-world-is-flat"
        },
        "datePublished": "2016-06-20",
        "appearance": {
          "@type": "OpinionNewsArticle",
          "url": "http://skeptical.example.net/news/a122121",
          "headline": "Square Earth - Flat earthers for the Internet age",
          "datePublished": "2016-06-22",
          "author": {
            "@type": "Person",
            "name": "T. Tellar"
          },
          "image": "https://example.com/photos/1x1/photo.jpg",
          "publisher": {
            "@type": "Organization",
            "name": "Skeptical News",
            "logo": {
              "@type": "ImageObject",
              "url": "https://example.com/logo.jpg"
            }
          }
        }
      },
      "author": {
        "@type": "Organization",
        "name": "Example.com science watch"
      },
      "reviewRating": {
        "@type": "Rating",
        "ratingValue": "1",
        "bestRating": "5",
        "worstRating": "1",
        "alternateName": "False"
      }
    }
    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
  </body>
</html>

Eligibility guidelines

Google doesn't guarantee that fact checks will be shown in search results, even if your page is marked up correctly according to the Rich Result Test. Using structured data enables a feature to be present, it does not guarantee that it will be present. The Google algorithm programmatically determines the eligibility for fact check rich results, depending on many variables, including the following guidlelines.

For your fact check content to be eligible to display as a fact check rich result on Google Search, you must meet the following guidelines:

  • Your site must have several pages marked with ClaimReview structured data.
  • You must follow all the structured data guidelines and webmaster guidelines.
  • There must not be any mismatch between the structured data and page content (for example, if the structured data indicated that the claim is true, but the content on the page said the claim was false). Instead, make sure that both the content and structured data match (for example, both indicate that the claim is true).
  • You must meet the standards for accountability, transparency, readability, and site misrepresentation, as articulated in our Google News General Guidelines.
  • You must have a corrections policy or have a mechanism for users to report errors.
  • Websites for political entities (such as campaigns, parties, or elected officials) aren't eligible for this feature.
  • Your readers can easily identify the claims and checks in the body of the article. Your readers are able to understand what was checked and what conclusions were reached.
  • You must clearly attribute the specific claim that you're assessing to a distinct second-party origin, whether it's a website, public statement, social media, or other traceable source.
  • Your fact check analysis must be traceable and transparent about sources and methods, with citations and references to primary sources.

Technical guidelines

  • A single page can host multiple ClaimReview elements, each for a separate claim.
  • If different reviewers on the page check the same fact, you can include a separate ClaimReview element for each reviewer's analysis. For more information, visit Posting multiple fact checks on a page.
  • The page hosting the ClaimReview element must have at least a brief summary of the fact check and the evaluation, if not the full text.
  • You should host a specific ClaimReview on only one page on your site. Do not repeat the same fact check on multiple pages, unless they are variations of the same page (for example, you can post the same ClaimReview on the mobile and desktop versions of a page).
  • If your website aggregates fact-check articles, ensure that all articles match the above criteria and that you provide an open and publicly available list of all fact-check websites you aggregate.

Posting multiple fact checks on a page

If you decide to specify multiple ClaimReview items on a single page, make sure they are all relevant to the main topic of the page. Use one of the following methods:

  • Create a summary page with multiple summarized fact checks, each with its own ClaimReview element. Post the full-text version of each fact check on its own page. Each ClaimReview element on the summary page points to the full-page version rather than to the summary page.
  • OR
  • Create a single page with multiple full-length reviews, each with an HTML anchor. Each ClaimReview element points to that summary_page.html#anchor.

Structured data type definitions

The following structured data types are required to implement fact checks:

You must include the required properties for your content to be eligible for display as a rich result. You can also include the recommended properties to add more information about your content, which could provide a better user experience.

If your organization is interested in implementing or experiencing issues with ClaimReview, submit your contact information. Our team may reach out to you.

ClaimReview

The full definition of ClaimReview is available at schema.org/ClaimReview.

Required properties
claimReviewed

Text

A short summary of the claim being evaluated. Try to keep this less than 75 characters to minimize wrapping when displayed on a mobile device.

reviewRating

Rating

The assessment of the claim. This object supports both a numeric and a textual assessment. The textual value is currently the only value shown in search results.

Different fact-checking projects have a variety of rating schemes which can have subtle differences, particularly for intermediate values. It is important to document such rating schemes to clarify the meaning of the numeric ratings. Minimally, there should be a number to text rating system for all your fact checks that carry numeric scores.

  • 1 = "False"
  • 2 = "Mostly false"
  • 3 = "Half true"
  • 4 = "Mostly true"
  • 5 = "True"

For more information, see Rating.

url

URL

Link to the page hosting the full article of the fact check. If the page has multiple ClaimReview elements, be sure that the fact check has an HTML anchor, and this property points to that anchor. Examples: http://example.com/longreview.html or http://example.com/summarypage.html#fact1

The domain of this URL value must be the same domain as, or a subdomain of, the page hosting this ClaimReview element. Redirects or shortened URLs (such as g.co/searchconsole) are not resolved, and so will not work here.

Recommended properties
author

Organization

The publisher of the fact check article, not the publisher of the claim. The author must be an organization or a person. The author have at least one of the following properties:

name Text

Name of the organization that is publishing the fact check.

url

URL

The URL of the publisher of the fact check. This can be a homepage, contact page, or other appropriate page.

datePublished

DateTime

The date when the fact check was published

itemReviewed

Claim

An object describing the claim being made. For more information, see Claim.

Claim

The full definition of Claim is available at schema.org/Claim.

Recommended properties
appearance

URL or CreativeWork

A link to, or inline description of, a CreativeWork in which this claim appears.

author

Organization or Person

The author of the claim, not the author of the fact check. Don't include the author property if the claim doesn't have an author. If you add author, define the following properties:

nameText, required

The publisher of the claim. The publisher can be a person or organization.

sameAs URL, recommended

Indicates the party that is making the claim, regardless of whether the party is a Person or Organization. When multiple publishers report on the same claim, the appearance property can be repeated. When multiple parties are making essentially the same claim, the author property can be repeated.

The URL can be:

  • The homepage of the organization that is making the claim.
  • Another definitive URL that provides information about the party that is making the claim, such as a person or organization's Wikipedia or Wikidata entry.
datePublished

DateTime

The date when the claim was made or entered public discourse (for example, when it became popular in social networks).

firstAppearance

URL or CreativeWork

A link to, or inline description of, a CreativeWork in which this specific claim first appears.

Rating

The full definition of Rating is available at schema.org/Rating.

Required properties
alternateName

Text

The truthfulness rating assigned to ClaimReview.reviewRating, as a human-readible short word or phrase. This value is displayed in the fact check in search results. Examples: "True" or "Mostly true".

If using a longer sentence, be sure that the beginning of the sentence expresses the meaning, in case the sentence is truncated to fit the display. For example: "Mostly true in the specifics, although the overall claim is somewhat misleading"

Recommended properties
bestRating

Number

For numeric ratings, the best value possible in the scale from worst to best. Must be greater than worstRating. Must be able to be evaluated as a number. Example: 4

name

Text

Same as alternateName, and used when alternateName is not provided, but we recommend that you specify alternateName instead of name.

ratingValue

Number

A numeric rating of this claim, in the range worstRatingbestRating inclusive. Integer values are recommended but not required. The closer the numeric rating is to bestRating, the more true it is; the closer this value is to worstRating, the more false it is. The numeric rating must be able to be evaluated as a number. Example: 4

worstRating

Number

For numeric ratings, the worst value possible in a scale from worst to best. Must be less than bestRating. Must be able to be evaluated as a number. Must have a minimum value of 1. Example: 1

Monitor rich results with Search Console

Search Console is a tool that helps you monitor how your pages perform in Google Search. You don't have to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google Search results, but it can help you understand and improve how Google sees your site. We recommend checking Search Console in the following cases:

  1. After deploying structured data for the first time
  2. After releasing new templates or updating your code
  3. Analyzing traffic periodically

After deploying structured data for the first time

After Google has indexed your pages, look for issues using the relevant Rich result status report. Ideally you should see an increase of valid pages, and no increase in errors or warnings. If you find issues in your structured data:

  1. Fix the errors.
  2. Inspect a live URL to check if the issue persists.
  3. Request validation using the status report.

After releasing new templates or updating your code

When you make significant changes to your website, monitor for increases in structured data errors and warnings.
  • If you see an increase in errors, perhaps you rolled out a new template that doesn't work, or your site interacts with the existing template in a new and bad way.
  • If you see a decrease in valid items (not matched by an increase in errors), perhaps you are no longer embedding structured data in your pages. Use the URL Inspection tool to learn what is causing the issue.

Analyzing traffic periodically

Analyze your Google Search traffic using the Performance Report. The data will show you how often your page appears as a rich result in Search, how often users click on it and what is the average position you appear on search results. You can also automatically pull these results with the Search Console API.

Troubleshooting

If you're having trouble implementing structured data, here are some resources that may help you.