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In terms of microdata, what is the proper way of displaying an unrated item such as a schema.org/Article?

I was thinking about one of the following:

  1. Do not specify any aggregateRating property for the parent object (Article).

  2. Have an aggregateRating object, set its ratingCount to 0, and do not set its ratingValue.

  3. Have an aggregateRating object, set its ratingCount and ratingValue to 0.

What are the pros and cons of each option?

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I’m assuming that the Article can be rated, but it got no ratings yet. (If the Article can’t be rated, don’t specify aggregateRating.)

Specifying aggregateRating and giving ratingCount the value 0 seems to be appropriate (but that’s, of course, not required, you could simply omit it). That way, a consumer might learn that the Article could have a rating and that it’s not rated yet (which is "more" information than they get if aggregateRating is not specified).

If you should specify ratingValue (with the value 0) depends on the way your site works. Do you actually have the rating "0" (i.e., you specify worstRating = 0)? In that case it seems to be appropriate to specify it. But if you only want to say that it has no "real" rating value, while for example normal ratings start at 1, you should omit ratingValue.

  • When an article has not been rated, its average rating is not zero, it is undefined. Therefore, I think the first solution you propose is better. – Tony Jul 6 '16 at 5:59

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