More threads by Marie Haynes

Marie Haynes

LocalU Faculty
Aug 7, 2012
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Joy brought up a great question about manual actions for review markup on testimonials here:

It got me thinking a little. I haven't done nearly as much schema penalty work as I have with regular unnatural links / thin content / pure spam types of manual actions. But, it seems to me that most cases of manual actions that have to do with schema are almost immediately reversed once the problem is fixed.

For example, let's say I crossed the line too far and tried to get review stars on pages where I shouldn't and Google takes a manual action and removes all of my structured markup. From what I've seen, I can just remove the markup on the pages where it shouldn't be there, apply for reconsideration and boom...within a few days (or possibly weeks), no harm done...the regular markup that my site should rightfully have is back again.

With other manual actions once you get hit it's usually quite devastating and has long term effects.

It makes me wonder if it's ok to be a little bit more aggressive when it comes to trying to mark things up?
Thanks so much Marie, for starting a new thread about this. Does make you wonder!

Has anyone here had experience with Schema penalties being reversed pretty fast?
Yeah the pros to adding review stars seem to really outweigh the cons. I haven't heard of or seen a penalty for it so it seems more like one of those things Google "advises" vs enforcing. Kind of how they tell you not to link build lol.
Thanks Joy.

The obvious big difference is that if you link build the wrong way it could have long term devastating effects. For example, if you build too many unnatural links, yeah, you could get a manual action, but you could also be affected forever by Penguin and have no way of knowing about it. So there's huge risk there.

Not that I would condone breaking the quality guidelines, but pushing the limits of what you can and can't markup seems to be something that has very few long lasting negative effects though. Don't quote me on that though as I could be wrong!
Also in the past there are several things Google said NOT to do. But didn't penalize in the beginning.
But over time they eventually did start penalizing.

I agree the upside of doing it right now is great. But I sure would hate it if a bunch of current and X-clients came to me in 6 months complaining that they got a warning from Google and it was for that schema I added.
I asked David Deering the same question in his post on localu (Understanding Google's Updated Structured Data Guidelines - Local University) a while back, and his reply was:

"one possible penalty is that Google will manually disable your rich snippets for the entire website. Getting them back won?t be as simple as changing the markup because now they may not trust you and it may take some time to earn their trust again. I?ve seen some sites lose their rich snippets and never get them back."
We had rich snippets disabled from one client and we were never told anything about it via GSC. Normally do they warn you manually or do they just pop you?
Will Google enforce their new guidelines? I don't think they've done a good job of it so far.

There's a site that's been showing rich snippets for years without displaying the reviews on the page. You can see this example if you search for "criminal attorney pleasanton, ca".

This site is doing aggregate rating markup in a tiny marked up footer.

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