Google’s John Mueller answers what structured data to use in a business that provides a service with a set of quotes showing how Google’s recommendations on how to use structured data sometimes differ from the official Schema.org documentation.
The question was from someone who wasn’t using structured data according to Google’s guidelines but might have been okay with Schema.org’s guidelines.
this is the question:
The next question I have here is that our website is a service, not a product.
Price will vary from estimate.
How can I fix the invalid item for a service like ours when I use product structured data? “
John Mueller answered the question with the assumption that the company was a local service provider.
This is his answer:
“For local businesses, like the one you mentioned, I would recommend looking at structured data for local businesses.
This also allows you to set a price range for your services.
We have more information about this markup in the research developer documentation.
Structured product data for a service company?
The official Schema.org product type definition includes Services.
So while one could technically use structured product data for a business providing a service, it is not recommended by Google.
This is the official description for Schema.org product structured data type:
“Any product or service offered. For example: a pair of shoes. A party ticket; Rent a car; a haircut; or an episode of a TV show broadcast over the Internet.”
Shaving is a local service. But according to the Schema.org documentation, it’s okay to use the Product structured data type for this business.
However, the structured data documentation for the Google product clearly focuses on the content of the product and does not include any clause for works of service.
Search Central’s Structured Data page says that for listings optimized for SERPs, use this type of structured data for products.
“When you add structured data to your product pages, Google search results (including Google Images and Google Lens) can display product information in richer ways.”
What structured data should I use?
Schema.org is founded and supported by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex. It is not a normative body like W3C (which creates HTML standards).
Search engines like Google choose what to use for their search features and that’s what really matters when deciding how to publish structured data.
Using structured data not supported by Google will not harm the site. Markup will not be used for enhanced SERP listings.
So when in doubt about whether to follow Schema.org or what Google recommends, go with what Google recommends.
What structured data should I use on the service site?
Listen to Google SEO Hours at 13:13 minutes.
Featured image by Shutterstock / Asier Romero