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Google Algorithmic Updates to Reviews in Rich Results

     
1:56 pm on Sep 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google has said it's added algorithmic updates to reviews in rich results.
In part, this has been done to deal with some of the "invalid or misleading implementations" reported to Google.
Anything that seems self-serving will fall foul, Google "will not display review rich results anymore for the schema types LocalBusiness and Organization (and their subtypes) in cases when the entity being reviewed controls the reviews themselves. "

While, technically, you can attach review markup to any schema type, for many types displaying star reviews does not add much value for the user. With this change, we’re limiting the pool of schema types that can potentially trigger review rich results in search. Specifically, we’ll only display reviews with those types (and their respective subtypes):

schema.org/Book
schema.org/Course
schema.org/CreativeWorkSeason
schema.org/CreativeWorkSeries
schema.org/Episode
schema.org/Event
schema.org/Game
schema.org/HowTo
schema.org/LocalBusiness
schema.org/MediaObject
schema.org/Movie
schema.org/MusicPlaylist
schema.org/MusicRecording
schema.org/Organization
schema.org/Product
schema.org/Recipe
schema.org/SoftwareApplication


[webmasters.googleblog.com...]

Here's a link to the review snippet information page [developers.google.com...]
9:26 am on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google has released an algorithm update called "Sept 19 Review Rich Results Update" which is related to when and how to show the rich reviews of businesses shown on the Google SERPs. Self serving reviews will not be shown in the Google SERPs after the update roll out.
John Mueller from Google says "if you embed a widget with reviews about your site (LocalBusiness/Organization & sub-types), on your site, we won't show those as "stars" in search. If the reviews are elsewhere, then we would show those there."
1:23 am on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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//schema.org/Product

"If the reviews are elsewhere, then we would show those there."

Where is elsewhere to be there? I have an ex competitor whose site is almost defunct after several years not updating the site. Still all stars.
12:46 am on Sept 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Guidelines aren't super clear on this one, it'll be interesting to see how it actually plays out but review snippets have definitely dropped across the web.
8:46 am on Sept 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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After checking some results, I'm pretty sure the update has either not fully rolled out yet, or the "third party review clausule" is not properly integrated in this update. Alternatively but (i hope) unlikely is that some third parties aren't properly connected to this update in some way (not verified as independent?).

There are different websites with the same integration showing mixed results: some lost the stars, some kept them. Only difference is a different third party for reviews.
6:46 pm on Sept 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Can anyone tell yet if this is affecting TrustPilot reviews from showing?
9:41 am on Sept 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Spacecowgirl Trustpilot reviews should be working, but it depends on which level of the website you are displaying them. Apparently Google finds it only relevant to show stars when it's about either your business or a specific product. Category pages seem to have taken the massive hits.
9:04 pm on Sept 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Eucalyptus Thank you for your response & if you or anyone has any sample URLs of category type pages that have been hit by this update, can you please share examples? We are about to kickoff a giant project using the category-as-product formula, and I'd hate to have the team do all the work for null. Thanks....
10:06 pm on Sept 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi Spacecowgirl - and Eucalyptus too, I'd like to Welcome [webmasterworld.com] you both to WebmasterWorld.

Mod's Note -
I should mention before any sample URLs are posted to please replace any domain names with "example" to become https://example.com/category/etc/ to comply with the Charter [webmasterworld.com] and ToS.

We avoid discussing actual domains at Webmaster World as our members prefer to discuss the topics.
Over time, some have found that it can be a bad idea to publish your domain name in ANY public SEO forum because it might open you up to competitive sabotage. Competitors don't always play fair.
10:42 am on Sept 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi Spacecowgirl,
I always experiment, and keep experimenting.
Why not create samples on your site and monitor the results.
3:59 pm on Sept 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@not2easy Gotcha! Okay -- you know I hadn't thought of it like that, and now that you mention it, that's an excellent way of keeping this forum an exchange of ideas rather than a platform for self promotion. @Engine, yes, that is a good idea that I should look into. I will come back to this topic with anything new to report. Thanks guys!