Schema Reviews Markup Question

JoshuaMackens

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Sep 12, 2012
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For some reason I've always believed based on what Google says about schema reviews that the reviews you collect can't be used and marked up across multiple pages. A review should only be marked up and displayed on one page.

For instance, if you have 15 reviews, you can't use and markup the same 15 reviews for all of your location pages. You have to split them up and make sure a review is only displayed and marked up on one page. So in this case, say you had 3 location pages, you would split it up so each page has 5 reviews.

Am I wrong about this?
 

Emily Brady

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Aug 7, 2019
Messages
16
Hm. This is a good question!

My better judgment tells me it depends on the business type and what the review is actually for (the service type). So, if I'm a plumbing company with a few locations in a large metro, I don't see a problem marking up multiple locations because they function as one "thing" - a singular plumbing brand. It wouldn't really make a difference if customers were reviewing X location or Y location because the service is the same.

If the business doesn't function as the same entity from location to location, I would hesitate to mark up all locations with the same reviews. (Ex: As a customer, I would not view the Trader Joe's near my house as indicative of how the Trader Joes 20 miles away serves customers.)

It's possible that marking up aggregate vs. individual reviews could make a difference, too.

I personally err on the side of caution; however, I've seen a few businesses do this and not get penalized.

Note: I'm definitely approaching this from a "how the larger principle applies" standpoint and not a "this is the definitive technical reason you can or cannot do that" - so I'm interested to hear others' thoughts as well.
 

dannanelli

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Joined
May 24, 2014
Messages
32
For some reason I've always believed based on what Google says about schema reviews that the reviews you collect can't be used and marked up across multiple pages. A review should only be marked up and displayed on one page.

For instance, if you have 15 reviews, you can't use and markup the same 15 reviews for all of your location pages. You have to split them up and make sure a review is only displayed and marked up on one page. So in this case, say you had 3 location pages, you would split it up so each page has 5 reviews.

Am I wrong about this?
I had talked to David Deering a while back about this. Here is what he had to say about it last year: "Google doesn’t really like that. This would create that same review markup on several pages, which in turn might get you penalized because that would go against Google’s guidelines. Ideally, you would want the reviews to be specific to a product or service. Or create a page just for reviews. If you want to have some reviews in a sidebar or in another area that would create that same review on many pages, just don’t mark it up in Schema."

More info:

Personally I feel like maybe it's best not to do it, but it's tempting!
 

JoshuaMackens

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Sep 12, 2012
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That's what I've thought but does anyone know where in Google's guidelines it says this? I can't find it.

@JoyHawkins @Colan Nielsen @Phil Rozek @mblumenthal - what are you takes on schema and how it should be done for service area pages? I figure that Google doesn't want to see the same 1st party reviews across multiple service area pages nor do they want a review marked up more than once. They want to see one review marked up once on the website, no matter what. Same goes for different services I would think. Obviously I could be incredibly wrong.

Thoughts?
 
Last edited:

dannanelli

Member
Joined
May 24, 2014
Messages
32
That's what I've thought but does anyone know where in Google's guidelines it says this? I can't find it.

@JoyHawkins @Colan Nielsen @Phil Rozek @mblumenthal - what are you takes on schema and how it should be done for service area pages? I figure that Google doesn't want to see the same 1st party reviews across multiple service area pages nor do they want a review marked up more than once. They want to see one review marked up once on the website, no matter what. Same goes for different services I would think. Obviously I could be incredibly wrong.

Thoughts?
I've yet to find it but would love to know if someone else has seen it.
 

Phil Rozek

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Jul 26, 2012
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@JoshuaMackens, are you talking about using Schema reviews on a "Service Areas" (as in "Areas Served") page, or on "city" pages?

I have never seen Google hand out a penalty for putting the same marked-up review on multiple pages. I've only seen Google whack sites (in Search Console, and only in a limited sense) for marking up reviews that aren't visible ON the page. Site owners get away with the latter so often that Google might as well not have a policy on it.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,832
@JoshuaMackens, are you talking about using Schema reviews on a "Service Areas" (as in "Areas Served") page, or on "city" pages?

I have never seen Google hand out a penalty for putting the same marked-up review on multiple pages. I've only seen Google whack sites (in Search Console, and only in a limited sense) for marking up reviews that aren't visible ON the page. Site owners get away with the latter so often that Google might as well not have a policy on it.
"City" pages.

I always want to stay in line with Google's policies to make avoid being penalized, no matter how unlikely :) do you know anywhere in the guidelines where it talks about this kind of thing?

Also, I thought that was true about marking up reviews that aren't visible on the actual page. Do you know where that is in the guidelines?
 

Yan Gilbert

Administrator
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Oct 15, 2016
Messages
259
I have an example where the same review is present on about dozen product type pages, with review schema. Google would only show the SERP stars on one of the pages. All pages were getting crawled properly. Everything looks clean, so my assumption at this point is that Google is picking one of the pages and ignoring the duplicates.

Have not been able to test yet to see if I switched a new review into some pages to see if that makes a difference.
 

Phil Rozek

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Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,576
"City" pages.
I still see sites get away with recycling reviews on various "city" pages. If Google doesn't like it, you probably just won't get the review stars (as I'm sure you know, they're not guaranteed). Less likely is that you get a manual penalty in Search Console.


I always want to stay in line with Google's policies to make avoid being penalized, no matter how unlikely :) do you know anywhere in the guidelines where it talks about this kind of thing?
Yup: Follow the structured data guidelines | Search | Google Developers
"Don't mark up irrelevant or misleading content, such as fake reviews or content unrelated to the focus of a page."
Google easily could have said, "Put any given review only on one page." Google did not comment.


Also, I thought that was true about marking up reviews that aren't visible on the actual page. Do you know where that is in the guidelines?
Also from: Follow the structured data guidelines | Search | Google Developers:
"Don't mark up content that is not visible to readers of the page."

Even if Google didn't mention it in the guidelines, it wouldn't matter much, because Google does dole out the occasional
 

Ryanl

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Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
29
We have a company locally here that collects their total reviews online and marks up all their "Service area/city pages" with the total number and updates it weekly. No reviews on the page when you click it. It's a bit misleading but I imagine they get a lot of clicks organically because the number is so high. This has been going on for about 1 year and they actually rank really well and have not been penalized.
 

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