Google’s John Mueller answer about which structured data to use for a business that offers a service with a range of prices shows how Google’s recommendations on how to use structured data sometimes diverges from official Schema.org documentation.
The question was from a person who was not using structured data according to Google’s guidelines but might have been okay with Schema.org guidelines.
This is the question:
“The next question I have here is our website is a service, not a product.
The price will vary on the estimate.
How do 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 business was a local service provider.
This is his answer:
“For local business, like the one that you mentioned, I’d recommend looking at the local business structured data.
This also lets you specify a price range for your services.
We have more information about this markup in the search developer documentation.”
Product Structured Data for a Service Company?
The official Schema.org Product type definition includes services.
So, while technically one can use the Product structured data for a business that offers a service, it’s not recommended by Google.
This is what the official description of the Schema.org Product structured data type:
“Any offered product or service. For example: a pair of shoes; a concert ticket; the rental of a car; a haircut; or an episode of a TV show streamed online.”
A haircut is a local service business. But according to the Schema.org documentation, the Product structured data type is okay to use for that business.
However, Google’s Product structured data documentation clearly focuses on product content and has no provision for service businesses.
Their Search Central page for structured data makes it clear that for enhanced SERPs listings, use this structured data type for products.
The documentation advises:
“When you add structured data to your product pages, Google search results (including Google Images and Google Lens) can show product information in richer ways.”
Which Structured Data to Use?
Schema.org is founded and supported by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex. It’s not a standards body like the W3C (which creates the HTML standards).
Search engines like Google choose what to use for their search features and that’s really what counts when deciding how to deploy structured data.
Using structured data that’s unsupported by Google won’t harm a site. The markup won’t 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.
Which structured data should I use on a service-website?
Listen to the Google SEO office hours at the 13:13 minute mark.
Featured image by Shutterstock/Asier Romero