Google's New Announcement About Review Schema

JoyHawkins

Administrator
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Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,985
All my Slack channels are already buzzing about this. I'd love to see how you guys interpret this announcement from Google:

That’s why, with this change, we’re not going to 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.
How do you think that will impact websites using 3rd parties to collect reviews (there are dozens out there) and then including those on their website via a widget that is marked up with schema?

 

Simon Cox

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
8
First place I came to as soon as I read the post. It is a bit ambiguous.

"Reviews that can be perceived as “self-serving” aren't in the best interest of users. We call reviews “self-serving” when a review about entity A is placed on the website of entity A - either directly in their markup or via an embedded 3rd party widget. "

So my guess is that Schema review markup is going to be ignored unless it comes in via a 3rd party embed (different domain).

Well that will save a lot of mark up work...
 

davematson

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
2
From a user perspective, I think this is very good.
It's always bugged me that so many sites grab a 5 start review and mark it up on their own page.

If you can still embed a review from a 3rd party site via widget, just not with rating schema, it shouldn't impact the review ecosystem. It'll just make the serps look less spammy. (Assuming I'm understanding how this change will work.)


All my Slack channels are already buzzing about this. I'd love to see how you guys interpret this announcement from Google:



How do you think that will impact websites using 3rd parties to collect reviews (there are dozens out there) and then including those on their website via a widget that is marked up with schema?

 

Simon Cox

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
8
Nothing like a 3rd part embed to slow your site down...

Guess we will have to test when this rolls out. I making some screen shots of different clients with reviews currently in their SERPs for when they ring me to shout at me.
 

davematson

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
2
It says 3rd party embeds that are self-selected should also not get review markup on your site.

Reviews that can be perceived as “self-serving” aren't in the best interest of users. We call reviews “self-serving” when a review about entity A is placed on the website of entity A - either directly in their markup or via an embedded 3rd party widget.
 

MeganR

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
Messages
65
So, does this suggest a review widget like GatherUp on the site is insufficient? Would a Yelp review widget work--allowing stars to still show up?
 

gyitsakalakis

Member
Joined
May 23, 2014
Messages
31
For local businesses, I read this as no self-reviews marked-up period. Put simply, no review snippets for reviews of your own local business on your own site.

Let's see how well the "algorithms" actually work here... If they really wanted to "end this," they should do manual action that impacts rankings.
 

MeganR

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
Messages
65
For local businesses, I read this as no self-reviews marked-up period. Put simply, no review snippets for reviews of your own local business on your own site.

Let's see how well the "algorithms" actually work here... If they really wanted to "end this," they should do manual action that impacts rankings.
Wowzers! It's my understanding that Google does dish out review schema markup penalties (although not often.) Are you suggesting they don't impact rankings?
 

gyitsakalakis

Member
Joined
May 23, 2014
Messages
31
Wowzers! It's my understanding that Google does dish out review schema markup penalties (although not often.) Are you suggesting they don't impact rankings?
I've heard tales of impact on rankings, but I haven't seen one myself (would love to hear from others). In fact, I recall johnmu saying no rankings impact somewhere, but maybe I'm remembering wrong. The only "penalty" I've seen is no more snippets.
 

AndySimpson

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
166
I've heard tales of impact on rankings, but I haven't seen one myself (would love to hear from others). In fact, I recall johnmu saying no rankings impact somewhere, but maybe I'm remembering wrong. The only "penalty" I've seen is no more snippets.
I think they'll just drop it from the serps and show a schema error when you go into GSC...no penalty, it just won't show. 🤞
 

andykuiper

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
7
This is what I was thinking as well. I mean it would be pretty easy for them to detect, right?
Except in this quote, it looks like they are saying:
We call reviews “self-serving” when a review about entity A is placed on the website of entity A - ...via an embedded 3rd party widget.

"...via an embedded third party widget"

leads one to wonder if GMB review widgets, GatherUp review widgets, etc. are allowed? Yikes, this is not very clear.

---> Reviews that can be perceived as “self-serving” aren't in the best interest of users. We call reviews “self-serving” when a review about entity A is placed on the website of entity A - either directly in their markup or via an embedded 3rd party widget. <---
 

andykuiper

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
7
Except in this quote, it looks like they are saying:
We call reviews “self-serving” when a review about entity A is placed on the website of entity A - ...via an embedded 3rd party widget.

"...via an embedded third party widget"

leads one to wonder if GMB review widgets, GatherUp review widgets, etc. are allowed? Yikes, this is not very clear.

---> Reviews that can be perceived as “self-serving” aren't in the best interest of users. We call reviews “self-serving” when a review about entity A is placed on the website of entity A - either directly in their markup or via an embedded 3rd party widget. <---
*I'm not going to change anything on my or my client's sites till after I hear from the experts later this week at LocalU Advanced in Denver :)
 

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