In a blog post this week, Google announced the introduction of “algorithmic updates” to reviews in rich results, with the aim of making them more helpful to users and addressing misleading implementation.
Review rich results have been available for some time in search results and can be an important influence for users looking for a product or service, showing scores or stars in the results.
Permitted schema types
While you can technically review markup to any schema type, Google says many do not add value, so it has limited the schema types which will be able to trigger review rich results.
The following types (with their respective subtypes) can show review rich results in the Google search results:
'Self-serving' reviews not allowed
Google defines self serving reviews as follows:
“We call reviews “self-serving” when a review about entity A is placed on the website of entity A - either directly in their markup or via an embedded 3rd party widget.”
Google says these reviews aren’t in the user interest and so review rich results will no longer be displayed for LocalBusiness and Organization schema types where the entity being reviewed controls the reviews themselves.
Property name required
Google has now made the name property a requirement so webmasters will need to specify the name of the item being reviewed.
What should you do?
Going forward, webmasters should review these changes and make sure they comply with the new requirements.
You can see further details about these updates in Google’s updated developer documentation.