We have automotive classifieds site which has listing of used cars. We would like to use microdata format. What would be approparite microdata structure/schema for classified site ?

Would http://schema.org/ItemList be suitable ?

2 Answers 2


Every classified ad could be an Offer.


I did a quick look. ItemList is a member of CreativeWork which is not appropriate for your needs.

I have seen this mistake several times where a portion of a schema is selected without regard to the parent element and I understand how easily that can happen. It is a mistake that no one can be faulted for.

What you need to know is that schema types/elements cannot exist without the parent types if you want it to be fully recognized.

At first, the various schema's are overwhelming and relationships hard to understand and how to use the schema confusing and except for the various examples, no-one would likely figure this thing out easily. I get it. The site is good, but not always clear enough even for someone like myself who as worked with mark-up a few times.

In your case, I would be looking at two things: one - the products offered, and two - the business itself. I will begin with the products then the business.

Thing > Product > SomeProducts I think this one is likely the best. Quoting: A placeholder for multiple similar products of the same kind.

If that is not quite right, then consider: Thing > Product > ProductModel Quoting: A datasheet or vendor specification of a product (in the sense of a prototypical description).

I am not sure if you are a car dealer or an online listing agent/sales. I did not find anything for online listing agent/sales exactly. But I did find this which may apply:

Thing > Organization > LocalBusiness > AutomotiveBusiness > AutoDealer

It may be that Thing > Organization > LocalBusiness > AutomotiveBusiness is enough if you are an online listing agent/sales.

Remember that as you look at the list above, AutoDealer is nested within AutomotiveBusiness which is nested within LocalBusiness and so forth. You will have to create the nesting of each parent/child type, though you do not have to use elements of any type except for what you actually want to display. As well, while it can be confusing, I believe that LocalBusiness is high as you have to go with the nesting. The examples are scant, and I am hardly an expert though I have done a few to help people. You may need to feel around a bit.

You can use the examples from schema.org as you go to create the nesting. Just cut and paste from the example as you navigate the schema types (eg. AutoDealer) from the top of the hierarchy to the bottom. Once you have done that, include within the nested types the data elements you want to display. Again, you can cut and paste from the examples and edit the data as you see fit though examples do not exist for everything.

You can test your work using http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets

Be patient. This is tedious work as you figure out what needs to be done. Start with the simplist and work outward from there. That way, you know that this bit of work is okay if you get an error. The whole schema thing can get a bit fiddlie. Sometimes it helps to create a relatively blank HTML page and put your code in it before testing. It seems that the tool likes that better sometimes.

Clear as mud? If you need more detail, let me know and I will edit this answer to help make things a bit more understandable.

  • 1
    Are you proposing to add Thing, Organization and LocalBusiness as parents for AutomotiveBusiness?
    – unor
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 16:42
  • @Unor I did not intend to get into the weeds on the details. It may be that you do not have to go all the way up the chain. I just helped two other people who did not nest types and elements properly and was trying to make a point. Perhaps I should look again and modify the answer to be clear. Keep me honest! Thanks!
    – closetnoc
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 20:35
  • 1
    I wasn’t sure if that was what you meant. Anyway, you shouldn’t add more than one item for one thing on a page. So if you have a LocalBusiness, don’t add the "parent" Organization and/or Thing in addition.
    – unor
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 21:03
  • Got it. Thanks! I have only fiddled about the edges enough to help people and I am not the expert. One of the last people I helped really just needed to wrap his code in one more type/tier/whatever in order to make it work. It ended up being about 3 divs before the details in his case. I would like to see mark-up used more by both sites and search engines. In fact, I would like to see more schemas within schema.org. I am a data guy and most of what I do does not fit. I thought about creating my own Schema.org extension or use OWL.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 21:10

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