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I've been adding schema markups on my customers' websites but I have a belief that we shall not add markups in excess on a particular page.

Sometimes there are opportunities to add a lot of extra schema markups apart from the one which is relevant to the page.

For eg. - If the page is about a Product or Service then I consider adding relevant structured data like Product or Service, along with breadcrumbs.

However, I can think of adding a lot of other schema markups on the same page but is it ethical or helpful?

  • Organization Logo, Website Social links, Sitename
  • SiteNavigationElements
  • WebPage schema with all links marked up
  • VideoObject schema(if there is a video in sidebar or description)
  • SearchAction markups (in JSON-LD)

I may let my clients feel that I added a lot of structured data on their website but I think adding duplicate markups on all pages would be spamming of structured data.

Would be really great if some expert can share thoughts on this.

  • What do you mean with ethical in this context? If it’s ethical to bill your customer for this? – unor Mar 25 '16 at 14:15
  • @unor: Maybe I've used a wrong word. I wanted to ask that whether it's allowed to add excess schema.org markups or not? if yes then are there any benefits out of it? – Sanchit Mar 25 '16 at 16:20
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You decide how much structured data (whether with Schema.org or any other vocabulary) you provide, just like you also decide how much content you provide.

Just like there is no one that could dictate that your blog post must not cover more than 5 different topics, must not be longer than 10.000 words, or must not mention more than 50 persons, there is no one that could dictate that you must not provide more than 20 Schema.org entities, or must not use more than 50 properties.

In general, more good data is better than less good data, right? Consumers (whether humans or bots) can parse your documents and decide for themselves which of the structured data they are interested in, and ignore the rest. That’s the advantage right there: more structured data = possibly more/better use for consumers.

Disadvantages? None directly. Of course file sizes (and thereby, loading times) increase, and you have to invest more work (for implementation as well as maintenance), so you might want to do a cost–benefit analysis.

In the words of Schema.org

From their Getting Started documentation:

More is better, except for hidden text. In general, the more content you mark up, the better. However, as a general rule, you should mark up only the content that is visible to people who visit the web page and not content in hidden div's or other hidden page elements.

From their FAQ:

Q: Why should I add markup? What will I get out of it? How will the data be used?

Search engines are using on-page markup in a variety of ways. These projects help you to surface your content more clearly or more prominently in search results. Not every type of information in schema.org will be surfaced in search results — you can refer to each company's documentation to find specific uses — but over time you can expect that more data will be used in more ways. In addition, since the markup is publicly accessible from your web pages, other organizations may find interesting new ways to make use of it as well.

In the words of the consumer Google

From their Structured Data policies:

When you have multiple entity types on a page, we recommend you mark up all entities on that page to help Google algorithms better understand and index your content.

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  • All that does, of course, not mean that it’s necessarily a good idea to use a Schema.org type just because it exists. Schema.org might contain types that are not useful in your situation. For example, if your navigation is a standard one, there is probably no reason to use the SiteNavigationElement type: it can be useful in a few rare cases, but not so much in the typical case of a webpage. If providing this type, no harm is done, but the data isn’t "substantial": it would just convey that there exists a navigation, nothing more. – unor Mar 25 '16 at 18:41
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When adding schema markup you should answer two important questions:

  1. Does this markup help Google to better understand what my content is about?
  2. Does it add value to my content?

Of course, Schema gives us the possibility of having rich snippets in SERPs, but this shouldn't be our only motivation.

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