Review Rich Results Update – September 2019

Search results that feature review rich results can be helpful when searching online for products or services.

The colourful stars and score nicely break up the results page, giving time for the searcher to subconsciously think. This can ultimately be the deciding factor between an impression and a click.

Review Rich Results - Before the Update
Review rich result prior September 2019 update.

Google’s September update allows the review rich snippet feature to become more helpful and meaningful with a new algorithmic stance.

The update aims to help address both misleading and inaccurate review snippets, making them more meaningful and relevant.

Focusing on Relevant Schema Types

Prior to the recent update, review markup could be attached to any schema type. For many types, the review snippet was not relevant and did not add much value for the user.

Due to the the review rich results not adding great value to the users journey, the pool of schema markup able to show review rich results has been limited to those below.

  • Book
  • Course
  • CreativeWorkSeason
  • CreativeWorkSeries
  • Episode
  • Event
  • Game
  • HowTo
  • LocalBusiness
  • MediaObject
  • Movie
  • MusicPlaylist
  • MusicRecording
  • Organization
  • Product
  • Recipe
  • SoftwareApplication

Self-serving reviews for LocalBusiness and Organization

Reviews that are placed on the website either by markup code or 3rd party apps are considered “self-serving”.

Rich review snippets will no longer show in the search engine results pages for those websites using self-serving reviews with the schema types LocalBusiness and Organization.

What does this mean for Ecommerce stores?

While this update nicknamed “Starmageddon”, would remove the review snippet from pages that include self-serving reviews and those that review your overall business that have the schema type LocalBusiness or Organization, it is important to note that products can still show rich review snippets.

Products can show the rich review snippet as long as the property “name” is included in the Product schema. In order for product pages to be accompanied by rich review snippets in the search engine results page, you must include this now required property.

While displaying an overall rich review result of your ecommerce is no longer available, third-party review platforms can still show a review snippet which will likely show for your branded search terms.

Before and after rich review snippet update
Before and after review rich results update. Credit: Trustpilot

What should I do?

  • Ensure you collect product reviews and include product schema for all products in your catalogue, including the now required “name” property.
  • Collect reviews on third party review platforms such as Trustpilot, Feefo, Yotpo etc. Rich review snippets will continue to appear on your review profile page – essential for branded search terms.
  • Enrich your third party review platform pages. Ensure your profile page includes as much information about your company and brand as possible, this will help to increase your visibility.

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