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I am building a website which lists profiles of several local businesses. I've read up on structured data in the JSON-LD format in the Google Documentation. They specifically state:

Don't use structured data to deceive or mislead users. Don't impersonate any person or organization, or misrepresent your ownership, affiliation, or primary purpose.

I have not found any information clearly stating if "impersonating" already means that I add the information I have on those other businesses to their respective profile page on my site. Does that action imply taking ownership? Are only the owners of a business allowed to add their Local Business data that way or is it beneficial if several sources supply their specific information that way?

I found this question going in a similar direction but I think it is out of date as Google describes much wider use than only a logo and therefore disregards the core question of legitimacy of the Local Business entry itself.

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  • From what I've read recently, Google stopped using the Organization schema except for logos. I don't think it really matters how you use it (or even if you use it) now. Sep 4, 2021 at 20:39
  • A Google base for high search rank has a useful added value of content. If you simply duplicate the information already available on the web, then it will lie in the bottom positions of the search results. Creating an online directory with added value for your local business listings can be a good solution. Read more developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/structured-data/…
    – nikant25
    Sep 6, 2021 at 5:47
  • @StephenOstermiller You're correct that Logos are the only rich snippet or "SERP Feature" type where Organization by itself is relevant. Nesting objects is perfectly acceptable, (which you know) but it technically would matter how it's used. Sep 7, 2021 at 18:12

1 Answer 1

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I encourage this. Structured data is supposed to help Search Engines understand what a web page is about.

If your page features information about an entity, including semantic markup that references the entity can help search engines better understand that your page is relevant to/about the entity and rank your page more appropriately.

Structured Data that references another entity will not be seen like "plagiarism".

Are only the owners of a business allowed to add their Local Business data that way or is it beneficial if several sources supply their specific information that way?

You would not want to provide a LocalBusiness Schema in a way that alludes that your page is the page of the Local Business.

It would be beneficial to your site and the entity's site if you referenced on your site with semantic markup. An appropriate way would be like this where I am citing that another company as a seller of a software made by a company.

    {
    "@context": "https://schema.org",
    "@type": "Organization",
    "name": "Example Software Company",
    "url": "https://example.com/",
    "logo": "https://picsum.photos/200",

    "hasOfferCatalog": {
        "@type": "OfferCatalog",
        "name": "Software as a service",
        "alternateName": "SaaS",
        "itemListElement": [
            {
                "@type": "Offer",
                "itemOffered": {
                    "@type": "SoftwareApplication",
                    "name": "SalesFarce CRM",
                    "operatingSystem": "All",
                    "applicationCategory": "WebApplication",
                    "aggregateRating": {
                      "@type": "AggregateRating",
                      "ratingValue": "2.6",
                      "ratingCount": "8864"
                    },
                    "offers": {
                      "@type": "Offer",
                      "price": "1.00",
                      "priceCurrency": "USD"
                    }
                }
            }
        ]
    },

    "seller": {
        "@type": "Organization",
        "name": "B2B Software Sales Company",
        "url": "https://www.example-software-global.net/",
        "logo": "https://picsum.photos/200L"
    },

    "sameAs": [
        "https://twitter.com/example-software-company",
        "https://linkedin.com/example-software-company",
        "https://facebook.com/example-software-company"
    ]
}

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