Schema property "mentions" and its usage for references

Martinus33

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
11
Hi,
may be here are some schema experts.

I'm just creating the schema markup for my aboutme-page. It has the Aboutpage- and the Person-item as basic structure:
"@type": "Person",
"mainEntityOfPage": {
"@type": "AboutPage"

On my aboutme-page I mention several references. Some of them are linked externally (article on other site, book on Amazon) and some are digital documents on my server as .jpg (legal permission, confirmation for completed course at school, newspaper article about public seminar, article in a print magazine).

Most of them can not be integrated on Person, but on AboutPage and one possible way here may be the mentions property, which offers broad usage possibilities as it can be used on CreativeWork (like AboutPage) and its value is Thing.
"@type": "AboutPage"
"mentions": ......

On schema.org mentions is defined as
Indicates that the CreativeWork contains a reference to, but is not necessarily about a concept.
"Reference" seems to be meant in a very common sense, not only in the sense of qualification, but including it.

Now my question:
What is the point and sense of this property as it seems to comprehend almost everything, which
- can be represented by any schema entity and
- is just mentioned on the page?
Why then does nobody use it?

On the one hand I'm glad that mentions exists, because it lets me integrate my personal job qualifications in my schema markup with AboutPage (o.k., with Person would be better...). On the other hand I feel a bit unsafe using it. Do I understand something wrong?


Martinus33
 
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David Deering

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
206
Hi Martinus. Well, you're right about the "mentions" property--it can be used on any web page and it's not used enough. So in your case (if I understand your questions correctly), you could format your schema markup using the AboutPage as the top-level entity then:
  • Within AboutPage, you could use the "about" or "mainEntity" property > Person > you
  • Within AboutPage, use the "mentions" property > Article > author > Person > you if you want to mark up a certain article or articles that you wrote.
  • Within AboutPage, you could also use the "citation" property > URLs of other pages that mention you
  • You could use the "sameAs" property for your specific social media links or bio pages on other sites
  • For your job qualifications, you could use the "knowsAbout" property
Really, there are a few ways to basically say the same thing with schema, so it just depends on how you want to structure the markup. But I hope this helps a little.

David
 

Martinus33

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
11
Hi David,
yes, this helps. Thanks.

The good thing with mentions (and citation) is: Within Person it is very hard to find ways to integrate job qualifications, but on my Aboutme-page I also use AboutPage and within AboutPage it is possible. That's the point.

The base structure on my Aboutme-page should be like this, i.e., Person is top-level-item and it is connected via "mainEntityOfPage with AboutPage:

"@type": "Person",
"name": "(my name),
"mainEntityOfPage": {
"@type": "AboutPage"
"mentions": {
"@type": "article"
"author": {
"@type": "Person",
"name": "(my name),
"publisher": "magazin"
"url": "(external URL in web or url of digital jpg-document on my server)

And it is o.k. if the "mentions-tree" again leads to me as Person, though Person is already top-level-item, like shown in the example above?

You suggest using "knowsAbout", but due to schema.org it is still in pending status, i.e., it is not integrated bindingly at the moment. Not sure how Google deals with pending item types and properties, but you recommend using them nonetheless?

Martin
 

David Deering

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
206
Right, you could structure your markup in that way, too. Like I said, there are several ways to say the same thing with schema, so your structure will work fine too. And the knowsAbout property has been a part of schema.org for a while, so I'm not sure why it still says pending. But regardless, yes I would recommend using it.

David
 

Martinus33

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
11
That's good news. Especially that it is correct schema code to find a connection within AboutPage to Person, which is already top-level-item. Because finally it's all about Person and its usage of Google for the knowledge graph.

May I ask you one further thing about "citation"?
It's definition is similar to "mentions":
A citation or reference to another creative work, such as another publication, web page, scholarly article, etc
Let's say a well-known magazine mentions my name or my homepage in an article and I want use this for the schema code of my aboutme-page, like this:
"@type": "Person",
"name": "(my name),
"mainEntityOfPage": {
"@type": "AboutPage"
"citation": {
"@type": "article"
"url": "(URL of published article in www or Wordpress-URL of digital document on my server)

Not only that the magazine article must of course mention my name or homepage, I also have to mention the article on my aboutme-page, right? Only then I can use citation like shown above, because Google wants to have it visible on my aboutme-page.

Mentions and citation are very similar. When would you prefer citation? Citations may be a ranking factor, so it may be a good idea to use citation instead of mentions where it is possible, because it indicates more explicitly a citation.
 
Last edited:

David Deering

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
206
Use mention with entities. For example, "this page" mentions "this person" or "this business". Use citation for any external sources used on the page, and you should at least include a link to the reference if possible if it's included in your markup. A simple contextual hyperlink would suffice in that regard.

You don't have to go crazy and display on your page every single entity mentioned in your schema markup. Some things can be included in your schema for the sake of machines but not necessarily displayed on the page. Your business' geo-coordinates would be one such example.
 

Martinus33

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
11
So you would use citation for typical "academic" purposes like
- a comprehensive in-depth article, which informs about the used sources in list of sources beneath the article
- any bibliography
- quotations of experts and famous people in the article
ect.
and proof this citation by a link on the article page to the source? In this cases it's not necessary that the source mentions me, it's just me mentioning sources on my page ("one-direction").

My job references/qualifications on my aboutme-page (for example an article on another site, which mentions me or a newspaper article about my latest public seminar), are therefore better covered by "mentions", I guess.
Your suggestion
Within AboutPage, you could also use the "citation" property > URLs of other pages that mention you
therefore is only meant as a second, but not the best possibility (better "mentions")?
 
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