New Structured Data Penalty for Reviews?


JoyHawkins

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I have had multiple people reach out to me in the last 24 hours that received a penalty for reviews marked up on their site. The wording of the email is one I have never seen before. I'm looking for other examples so I can see what the patterns are. Here is the wording of the email:

Review policy violation: Review written by the site or person providing the service

Google has detected rich result structured data on your site that violates our structured data quality guidelines. In order to ensure quality search results for users, this structured data won't be eligible for rich results.

Details:
• Problem: Reviews must not be written or provided by the business or content provider unless they are genuine, independent, and unpaid editorial reviews.


Is anyone else seeing these? Please PM me any sites if you have examples.

review-penalty-png.3344
 

Tim Colling

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Thanks, @JoyHawkins

We haven't seen any of those with our own clients here (but I would be surprised if we had done anything wrong on their sites).

We have had a few client's receive admonisments about "New Mobile Usability issues detected" over the past week or so. That seems to have been the GSC naughty note topic lately.

What is the nature of the "penalty" that has been administered for the folks who have reached out to you about this? Suspension of their GMB locations or something?
 
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@JoyHawkins Can you confirm whether those people have reviews on their site from employees? Is there any code in the markup that might indicate it's coming from the site?
 

JoyHawkins

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@Garrett Sussman no, it wasn't an employee's name. The business did use a single review across multiple pages and it was missing a date. I guess the implementation made Google think it wasn't legit. Even more reason for businesses to use a review source like Grade.us to automate it all for them.
 
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That's really interesting though that the date missing in the markup could result in that type of penalty message from Google.

FWIW we haven't had any of our customers report penalties for review markup issues today, but if I hear anything, I'll definitely keep everyone in the loop here!
 

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