Mueller Discusses Reviews Eligibility for Rich Results
Google said they would not show enhanced search results if site owners republish customer reviews from other sources on their Google SEO website, even if they use valid structured data markup. For a web page’s review snippets to appear in the Google SEO results, they should be submitted directly to the site.
If SEOs want their web page to appear as a rich result, they should ensure that they don’t get reviews from other places on the Internet and post these on their site. This issue was addressed in the most recent Search Central SEO office-hours hangout, which took place on 19 November.
One business owner, who owns a photography company, asked Google’s John Mueller why their review snippets do not appear in the search results despite a valid Schema markup. The photography company’s owner told Mueller that they have a web page dedicated to republishing reviews from Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business.
As a response, Mueller differentiated between the reviews eligible for snippets and those that aren’t. He said that there is no problem with taking that approach, but the truth is, Google only shows enhanced results for reviews that are directly submitted to the Google SEO website.
Mueller said that Google probably wouldn’t include that as a review in the search results since it is a testimonial. On the other hand, reviews would need to be product-specific and left on the page itself by visitors.
So, if an SEO is taking reviews from other places on the web and posting these on their site, Google wouldn’t pick those up as structured data reviews. SEOs may keep them on the page, but the search engine company wouldn’t utilise the review markup.
After Mueller’s explanation, SEOs may well be tempted to ask how Google distinguishes a review from a third-party source from a direct submission. The answer is that Google’s system can identify that automatically. However, Google isn’t always correct, and one could find websites in the search results with review snippets even if they were not submitted directly. But that is just an exception, not a rule. If users leave a review elsewhere and an SEO takes a copy of it, the original place it was found would be where the structured data should be applied.
Mueller admits that it’s a little tough because Google tries to recognise this scenario automatically, and sometimes they don’t detect it properly, so it just shows it anyway. However, Google does try its best to avoid displaying reviews that have been copied and pasted to a website. He reiterates that site owners may still include them on their site; it’s just that they won’t get the same level of prominence in search results.
What Businesses Could Do About the Matter
If the company’s goal is to obtain review snippets in the search results, they must provide a mechanism for consumers to submit reviews directly. It must be accomplished for each item or service on the website. If the reviews rate the company overall, meaning they are not specified to a product or a service, they cannot be eligible for review snippets.
The easiest way to do so is to include a review submission form on every service or product page on a website. Each product page should encourage its buyers to submit a review. Applying the same idea and valid Schema markup to one’s website will make the product and service pages eligible for review snippets.
Google Stars from Consumer Reviews
One example of a review for rich results are Google star ratings. Google uses consumer reviews from various properties to generate its star ratings, and the algorithm and average are used to determine how many stars are shown. These star ratings appear on a scale of 1 to 5.
When people search on Google, they will see star ratings on typical blue link listings, ads, and rich results like third-party review sites, local pack results, recipe cards, and app store results.
According to Mueller, customer reviews and star ratings are not taken into account in web search rankings. However, Google has stated that star ratings do impact local search results and rankings. The more positive ratings and reviews a website has, the better their business’s local rankings would be.
Even though star ratings aren’t used in organic searches, they may be an important conversion factor since they can demonstrate social proof and help a business develop credibility.
Obtaining Google Stars from Third Party Review Websites
Some businesses rely on third-party review sites to help their consumers make the right choices. Any website that a brand does not control where consumers may post reviews is known as a third-party review site. And many of these websites can show star ratings.
The best way to obtain a third-party review is dependent on which website is most effective for the business or brand. So, if one has many active consumers on a particular third-party review site, they should engage with their clients there; for instance, they could conduct an email campaign with their customer list and ask them to leave a review on the third-party review site.
Google reminds businesses that they can’t opt out of third-party reviews and that they should speak with the website owners if there are any problems with a third-party review.
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