What is ‘Speakable’? An in-depth analysis of Google’s New Schema Markup

Google has broken the news about a new markup which is reported to target news publishers looking to get their content into the Google Assistant. This new markup is termed ‘ speakable’ which enables publishers to mark up or define sections of a news article that are most relevant to be read aloud by the Google Assistant and other devices like Google Home.Adding speakable specification will help Google Assistant and Google Home choose which content to read aloud.

Though, for the time being, only to the news sites, this new structured data markup is important because it may point to what you will need in order to drive traffic to your site if Google expands this structured data to all types of websites.

What is Speakable schema markup?

You may have heard these terms before, but you might not be well familiar with the term, meaning you still need some useful information to enhance your understanding about this new structured data markup.


Speakable is a Google’s schema markup tool, and a schema markup up tool allows companies to “mark up or specify sections of their content for voice search.

According to the specification on Schema.org, Speakable Markup:

“Indicates sections of a Web page that are particularly ‘speakable’ in the sense of being highlighted as being especially appropriate for text-to-speech conversion. Other sections of a page may also be usefully spoken in particular circumstances; the ‘speakable’ property serves to indicate the parts most likely to be generally useful for speech.”

In more simple terms, speakable markup is meant to allow companies to choose the most valuable information in their content for Google assistant to read it out. You mark a chunk of information most relevant for Google Assistant and other similar devices.

Who is Eligible to Be Heard on Google Assistant?

This program is currently in Beta, and is available for News sites in the United States and will support only English language.

See what Google has to say:

“In order to fulfill news queries with results people can count on, we collaborated on a new schema.org structured data specification called speakable for eligible publishers to mark up sections of a news article that are most relevant to be read aloud by the Google Assistant.”

With that, it seems that Google has no plan whether they will expand the markup specification beyond the news. But according to this blog “it is it’s the start toward wider adoption to other forms of speakable content, such as web pages.”

How Does Google Assistant Choose Speakable Content?

There is an algorithm Google Assistant uses to choose speakable. What algorithm it uses and how it works is not known. When it comes to news content, the algorithm evaluates the spoken request about current trending news topics and choose from them.

So it is important to precisely mention what the news article is about when describing the content in the associated Schema. org structured data. And this is even more crucial than the speakable specification.

The Speakable specification tells Google Assistant what part of the article to read, and is very useful for ranking purposes.

How to get found in news results to read out

Speakable markup can be repeated several numbers of times in a single piece of content, allowing publishers to select specific sections of content most useful for speech and mark them up

“Speakable markup is a new way for publishers to reach a wider audience, according to Google.

Here is what they say about it:

“Adding markup allows search engines and other applications to identify content to read aloud on Google Assistant-enabled devices using TTS. Webpages with speakable structured data can use the Google Assistant to distribute the content through new channels and reach a wider base of users.”

To appear in audio playback in news results will require you to do the following:

  • You meet the eligibility requirements, and you can do this by submitting your news site to Google.
  • Set up a valid edition Google News Producer.
  • Add Speakable structured data to your web page
  • Send content for review; it can take up to five business days for the content to be reviewed. Up to completion, you get a notification of whether approved or not.

In addition, you should follow the Google guidelines for speakable content to be eligible to appear in the news results.

Technical guidelines:

You should do these important things when implanting speakable markup for Google Assistant.

  • Don’t use speakable structured data for content that may sound confusing when it comes to voice-only and voice-forward situations, like datelines (a location where the story was reported), photo captions, or source attributions.
  • You should focus on key points rather than highlighting an entire article with speakable structured data. This will allows listeners to get an idea of the story and also TTS readout will not cut off important details.

Content guidelines:

These are what you need to do in order for your content to appear in the news result

  • Use concise headlines or summaries for content indicated by speakable structured data. But make sure they provide users comprehensive and useful information.
  • Rewrite before using the top of the story in If you include the top in speakable structured data and break up information into individual sentences so that it reads more clearly for TTS.
  • Content 20-30 seconds in length deemed ideal for a per section of speakable structured data.

If you have done everything, go and test by asking questions like “what is the latest news on (topic)?” If you don’t see your site in the result, there might be some error while implementing the markup. So go and find an error if there are any. And fix them.

Once you have fixed it, do ask that question again, and if you are still having, not appearing in the result, this might be because of your site search ranking. You need to learn how to increase your website ranking in search results or find a good SEO agency to help you with that.

Will Google Expand This New Markup Beyond News?

As of now, the Speakable specification can be used within many contexts such as:

Schema.org is, of course, rolling out the Speakable specification beyond the context of News, but Google does not seem to use it now. However, it may indicate where the future of the Speakable attribute is headed.

Does this mean it is going to use the Speakable specification for other than the context of News?

They can use it and can’t use it as well beyond the news. If they find it of any sense for users, then they can consider embracing additional contexts for the Speakable structured data.

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Amit Mishra

Amit Mishra, the co-founder of Media Search Group, loves to pen down about marketing and designing. Be it search engine optimization(SEO) tips and strategies, Social Media Optimization, Increasing Engagement, and Traffic Score, Web Design and Development, Mobile Applications, Conversion/Sales, he covers it all. Been in the business for a long time, Amit Mishra knows some of the best strategies on how to expand and grow a Business Online.