Missing field ‘item’ in itemListElement is a common issue encountered by website owners and SEO professionals when using Google Search Console (GSC) to monitor their site’s presence in Google search results. This issue often arises for websites utilizing WordPress with the Yoast SEO plugin. Here, we will delve into what this problem entails, why it occurs, and provide a comprehensive guide on resolving it.

Understanding the Problem

The error “Missing field ‘item’ in itemListElement'” typically appears in the GSC’s Enhancement report under the “Breadcrumb” section. Breadcrumbs are navigational aids on websites that help users understand their current position relative to the homepage and navigate the site hierarchy more effectively. They also provide contextual information to search engines about the structure of a website. This specific error occurs when Google’s structured data parsing algorithm encounters an item list on your website that lacks the ‘item’ field, which is essential for correctly understanding the sequence and hierarchy of pages represented by the breadcrumbs.


The root cause of this issue is often related to the structured data schema generated by the website, which, in WordPress sites, is frequently managed by the Yoast SEO plugin. The problem can stem from:

Incomplete or Incorrect Schema Markup: If the schema markup generated by Yoast SEO or manually added to the site doesn’t include all necessary properties of the itemListElement, Google might not be able to recognize the page hierarchy.
Conflicts with Themes or Other Plugins: Sometimes, the active theme or another plugin might interfere with how Yoast SEO generates its schema markup, leading to incomplete breadcrumb data.
Updates and Compatibility Issues: Updates to the Yoast SEO plugin, WordPress core, or other related components can sometimes introduce compatibility issues, affecting how structured data is generated or interpreted.

Fixing the Issue

Here’s a step-by-step guide to addressing the “Missing field ‘item’ in itemListElement'” error:

Step 1: Update WordPress and Plugins

Ensure that your WordPress installation and all plugins, especially Yoast SEO, are updated to their latest versions. This can resolve issues caused by outdated code and compatibility problems.

Step 2: Validate Your Schema Markup

Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to validate the schema markup of the pages reported with errors in GSC. This tool can help identify the specific missing fields in your breadcrumb schema.
If you have custom-added structured data, review it for completeness and accuracy, ensuring the ‘item’ field is present within each ‘itemListElement’.

Step 3: Check for Conflicts

Temporarily switch to a default WordPress theme (e.g., Twenty Twenty-One) and deactivate all plugins except Yoast SEO. Then, check if the issue persists. If it resolves, reactivate your theme and plugins one by one to identify the culprit.

Step 4: Use the Yoast SEO Breadcrumbs Feature

Enable Breadcrumbs in Yoast SEO if not already done. Go to Yoast SEO Settings > Advanced > Breadcrumbs, and enable them.
Customize the breadcrumbs settings as needed. Yoast offers extensive documentation on setting up breadcrumbs properly.

yoast seo breadcrumbs settings

Step 5: Turn off Yoast Breadcrumbs and use another plugin

  1. Perform instructions in Step 4, but turn off Breadcrumbs in Yoast. If this doesn’t help, insert the following code in functions.php file:
  2. function disable_yoast_schema_data($data){
    $data = array();
    return $data;
    add_filter('wpseo_json_ld_output', 'disable_yoast_schema_data', 10, 1);

  3. Install another schema plugin for example: Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP plugin.
  4. Go to Settings of this plugin and enable Breadcrumbs feature

Step 6: Manually Add Missing Data

If the issue persists, you might need to manually add the missing ‘item’ field to your breadcrumb schema:

  1. Identify the pages with errors through GSC.
  2. Add the missing ‘item’ field to the breadcrumb list schema. This might require editing your theme’s files or adding custom code snippets, depending on how your site manages structured data.

Alternative Solutions

SEO Plugins: If the issue can’t be resolved with Yoast SEO, consider trying another SEO plugin that offers more compatible breadcrumb schema markup features for your theme.
Professional Help: For complex sites or unresolved issues, consulting with a professional developer or SEO expert who has experience with structured data and WordPress can be beneficial.


The “Missing field ‘item’ in itemListElement'” error in Google Search Console is fixable with a methodical approach, starting from updates and validations to more in-depth troubleshooting. Regularly monitoring your site through GSC and promptly addressing any structured data issues will enhance your site’s SEO and usability.

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James Kramer
Hello, I'm James. My website Bugsfighter.com, a culmination of a decade's journey in the realms of computer troubleshooting, software testing, and development. My mission here is to offer you comprehensive, yet user-friendly guides across a spectrum of topics in this niche. Should you encounter any challenges with the software or the methodologies I endorse, please know that I am readily accessible for assistance. For any inquiries or further communication, feel free to reach out through the 'Contacts' page. Your journey towards seamless computing starts here