2 September 2016
Google Updates Local Business Review Guidelines For Schema Markup
Here’s a summary of what the new guidelines ask for.
If there was one Google rule to rule them all it would be authenticity. Snippets have to be written or provided by the business only if they are genuine, independent editorial reviews and they have not been paid for or involve a commercial agreement. This means that negative comments must be as equally accepted as the positive ones. They should not be vetted by the business. Review names also need to be valid.
No Auto Population With Data
Don’t use automated template sentences that harvest data to fill in gaps such as ‘From X amount of reviews we found that…” The reviews need to be sourced as original feedback.
Specific Business Reviews Only
Reviews need to be specific, localised and not summarise a franchise or chain of shops with many locations. A company or brand cannot use reviews to apply to several businesses under one company name so don’t use duplicated reviews across many businesses. No third-party or syndicated reviews should be marked up. This latest change is the one that will make a significant difference from the previous setup. Only use reviews that have been directly produced by your website.
At Varn we can help keep your website up to date and in line with the latest Google changes. Drop us a line if you would like us to help you keep your website optimised, so that it performs better.