Google updates are a nightmare for every marketer. What worked in the past will now get you punished. The tech giant has users as its masters. It goes to great lengths to please users.
In September 2019, Google announced an update to its algorithm. It would work to make review-rich results more meaningful and helpful. The reason was to protect users from misleading information.
What does this update mean for you? What are its implications? Let’s find out!
Google will show review rich results only for:
- Selective schema types
- Non-self serving reviews
- Reviews that have a name property
But it’s all technical stuff. Not easy to read. Let’s try to break it down as simply as possible.
What are review-rich results?
Review rich results show up in the SERP together with the snippet. These results are very influential in the buyer decision.
The review rich results have three components:
- Star Rating: It is an indicator. There will be five stars. Brands that have won the heart of their customers will receive five stars. Customers will give only a few stars if they don’t like the products.
- Votes: It shows the number of users who have participated in the reviews.
- Price Range: It’s usually a dollar sign. It tells users something about the price of the product or service.
Now let’s see what changes Google brought to the algorithm.
Limits on Schema types:
Before the update, you can show up for review-rich results with any schema type. Now Google wants to limit that. What this means is if you don’t have the schema type that Google lists, you won’t show up.
Google places much importance on its customers. It wants to give them a smooth experience. What are the schema types that Google has listed?
There are 17 types. Here they are:
Ban on Self-serving Reviews
Another change is a ban on reviews hosted by the company on its website. Companies use reviews to promote themselves. Google tries to limit this practice.
Google says that these reviews affect the user experience. Your reviews could give them false information. Hire a digital marketing agency for a better user experience.
Through this update, Google wants to stop brands from painting a false picture of themselves. Companies do a lot of self-promotion. But the reality could be different.
The limit applies only to LocalBusiness and Organization schema types. The update won’t affect other schema types. Other types will show up in the search results.
You could qualify with one of the seventeen schema types. But if you use self-serving reviews, you won’t show up.
Don’t forget to include the name property
The third change has to do with the name property. Google has made it compulsory for review snippets. You should specify the name of the item on your site.
Google is not clear about name property. Perhaps you won’t show up. Make sure to add it. It will enhance the user experience. Get the SEO services of an agency in Adelaide to improve user experience.
Should you be concerned?
There is nothing to worry about here. Google has several criteria to rank sites.
Page load speed, mobile user experience, and site architecture matter a lot. These are major ranking factors.
Even if you don’t show up for review snippets, there are other ways to rank. Focus on your content. The one thing that doesn’t get affected much is content.
People always want to learn. There will always be people looking for information. So, work on producing quality content.
Avoid keyword stuffing. Also, don’t rely on keywords. Unique and original content always wins. Hire a digital marketing agency if you want quality content.
Search rankings are all about the people. Try to serve their interests. Ask, “How can I solve their problems?” “What are the best ways I can serve them?”
Should I take down reviews from my site?
You’d be quick to conclude: It’s time to remove reviews. Well, not really. You have to see what the changes mean for you. Review snippets are not going to affect your rankings. For rankings, get SEO services from experts in Adelaide. They’ll help you optimize for rankings.
Reviews help people make good choices. You can use reviews to build your reputation. Reviews are evidence that you’re doing well.
You will not show up for review-rich results. But still, you could get more sales. There is also no penalty for self-serving reviews. So, it’s not like you have to remove them at all costs. You can partner with a digital marketing agency to review management strategy.
Self-serving reviews could come across as too pushy. More than ever, people want transparency and objective results. They are unhappy with consumerism.
Marketers and salespeople already have a bad reputation. Google could bring big changes sooner or later.
It’s time to reflect that we have too many influencers. They influence people’s decisions for the better or worse. It’s good to let people make free decisions. So it is wise to opt out of self-serving reviews.