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I see a lot of websites, including news sites like bbc.com, amazon.com, imdb.com all of them who publish rich content and implementing schema.org on their leaf pages, leaving out their home page from their schema.org implementation scope.

I am wondering if there is a reason or trend that is causing this because we are planning on implementing schema.org for a news publisher and don't want to be caught on the wrong side of things and also do not want to waste time on doing this if ultimately its not of much use.

We believe using "itemscope" to limit the scope of our page content will enhance the value of the page itself because right now two different news items could be mixed up in search results, any guidance on what could be done to improve this situation is appreciated.

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It’s perfectly fine (and useful) to provide structured data on the homepage.

It’s a good place to provide a WebSite item (if you want/need one), to state what the site is about (the site’s main entity, e.g., an organization or a person), and to link to "deeper" entities (offering an entry place for structured data crawlers).

One reason why some sites provide structured data only on other pages could be that Google didn’t support Rich Snippets on homepages. But Rich Snippets (now called rich results) are not the only search feature, based on structured data, that Google offers. For some of their features, you even have to provide the markup on the homepage, for example for the Sitelinks Searchbox:

Add the markup only to the homepage of your site.

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