What is an “hentry” error?

Before I talk about hentry errors, what exactly is an hentry?

The hentry is an information format (defined by microformats.org) that  forms part of structured data on a web page. The hentry standard encodes the following attributes:

This information is usually not visibile to web users, unless it is being utilized by a user-facing medium like a news feed that automatically updates from an RSS feed. The main goal of hentry is to organize information in machine-readable format that can enrich RSS feeds.  Google also uses structured data to understand the content of a page better.  If Googlebot does not find the required attributes (i.e. entry-title, updated, author), it will post an error on the Structured Data section of the Google Search Console (GSC);

  •  “Missing required filed: author””
  •  “Missing required filed: updated”
  •  “Missing required filed: entry-title”

 

hentry structured data errors
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hentry errors  displayed on Google Search Console

Is it important to fix hentry errors?

Missing hentry information does not directly affect user-facing website. It is really not noticeable if they are missing – again, unless some elements on the interface draws information from them. Whether you need to spend time and effort resolving these issues or not is debatable. In fact some blogs have suggested removing hentry information altogether, as a way of solving this problem. However, I am set on resolving them for one big reason: SEO! The more information you provide Google, the better it will understand your website; which bodes well for search engine rankings. If Google is not happy, then I am not happy. As a general standard of practice, I want to resolve any error that Google points out in case they may affect search engine ranking. Call me OCD, but it also feels nice to a clean “errorless” dashboard on GSC.

How to fix hentry errors

I wish wordpress and theme developers had an easy fix to this error. Why include hentry information if you are not providing a means of automatically providing that information? I would have loved to have this issue gone with a theme or wordpress update. Unfortunately, at this moment, there doesn’t seem to be such a fix available. I finally found a fix that worked for me. Note that this fix applies to WordPress sites. And I am using the Divi theme, if that may be useful.

Here we go:

First, you want to confirm the error using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. (you can also click on the error within GSC to live-test the problem). This will allow you to evaluate, at the end of this process, whether you solved the problem.

On WordPress theme editor (Appearance>Editor) go to functions.php and add the following code:

(as standard practice, backup your files before making any changes)

 

Use the Structured Data Testing Tool to confirm if it worked. i.e. you should be able to see the “entry-title, updated, and author” attrubutes on the test

I am not sure if it will work for everyone, but I hope it will help someone.

Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.

Cheers!

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Author: Barry O

I am the Chief Web Pro at YourWebPro.ca. You can call me Your Web Pro… or your web builder, your web manager, your web concierge, your web guy, or Barry.

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