More threads by JoyHawkins

pony

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2- Google is removing the stars in the SERPs, ignoring the schema, with NO penalty or rank issue

Only if the site in question owns the business being reviewed. If I am a 3rd party reviewer and the reviews are about a business/product/movie/etc. that I do not own, Google will continue to publish the rich results in SERPs, giving them an advantage over the actual business owner.
 
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... Yelp has effectively become a niche player ...

In a Maps discovery world all bets are off for third party reviews.

Thus I see any business, taking a long term view, priorities to be:
Google
And their own website

And in that world only Google and first party reviews matter.

Yelp is Apple (and Bing). So on Apple phones/maps won't they see Yelp and not Google? That is a huge chunk of people. Just sayin'. Or do they all use Google maps on Apple phones? (Busted, I know. Not an Apple-er.)
 

MonicaH

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*I'm not going to change anything on my or my client's sites till after I hear from the experts later this week at LocalU Advanced in Denver :)

Same here! Perfect timing (if there is such a thing when it comes to a change like this).
 
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BipperMedia

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ultimately all of this is fine by me... from my experience very few of our client's local business competitors even had review markup showing in organic results -- because most local business owners have no idea how to implement it

So long as they don't do away with the FAQ markup -- which in my opinion, at the moment anyway, delivers a much stronger presence in organic.

here's a screenshot from one of our clients that have both review and FAQ markup -- so remove the reviews, and you still own a large chunk of real estate...

city-pages-schema-markup.png

Quick side not on this FAQ markup... it took us a total of about 2 minutes to add the markup > republish the site > re-crawl in GSC... and then BAM!!! the FAQ list was present in organic (kind of crazy and definitely wasn't expecting it to show that quickly).

My point here is, similar to what another commenter mentioned (sorry, can't remember who it was) but stuff like this comes and goes - and you just need to be on top of the changes to adapt and adjust accordingly...
 

Marie Haynes

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leads one to wonder if GMB review widgets, GatherUp review widgets, etc. are allowed? Yikes, this is not very clear.

My understanding is that if a widget is embedded on your site, it's perfectly fine to have it there, but Google won't show the rich results (i.e. review stars) in the SERPS when displaying your site.

What I'm still unclear on though is product markup. If a company sells its own products, solicits reviews and then marks them up, will they have stars?
 

pony

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What I'm still unclear on though is product markup. If a company sells its own products, solicits reviews and then marks them up, will they have stars?

No, not if it's their own product. At least that is how I am interpreting it. A 3rd party site would be able to get review schema though... So if you if you are a small company who makes their own shoes, you won't be able to get rich snippets for the reviews on your site, but if another vendor sold your product (Zappos for example) they would be able to get the rich results.

I think the biggest reason Google did this was to try and decrease the likelihood of rich results coming from spammy content (selected reviews in this case) without realizing that when a user searches for "X product" they can typically use common sense to understand there is going to be a bias in the reviews from the manufacturer themselves and from other vendors.

IMO this was a step overboard.
 

BipperMedia

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Review Schema is now no longer showing on the example I shared earlier:

Here's what it looked like yesterday with the 5 star review markup:

review-schema-1.png


And now here's what it looks like today... review markup gone:

review-schema-2.png


But again, I'm fine with this change and update because from my experience... in our competitor's markets, so few businesses (local businesses) even had this implemented.

And now there's the FAQ markup which, in some ways, I think helps make the listing stand out even more definitively in search.

And I'm assuming that Google's long term play here with FAQ markup is voice search...

i.e. extracting FAQ markup to present via voice search results.

Which to me is pretty awesome!
 

pony

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And now there's the FAQ markup which, in some ways, I think helps make the listing stand out even more definitively in search.

And I'm assuming that Google's long term play here with FAQ markup is voice search...

i.e. extracting FAQ markup to present via voice search results.

I think that is a very accurate prediction. I feel like Google is teasing SEO's with FAQ schema right now which makes us salivate looking at all of the SERP real estate, giving them a huge head start on better voice search results for their users in the near future.

But, I feel like the FAQ schema rich results cannot last very long... they already take up a huge amount of real estate without full adoption, and more and more people are adding it everyday. Soon every page will have it and Google will be required to make a change.
 
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We've definitely seen schema-related penalties in the last year. It's generally when review schema is present without the physical reviews showing on the page anywhere. Every single one I've looked at simply removes the gold stars in the SERPs and has no impact on ranking.

Joy, we have seen similar penalties for reviews and ratings over the last three years. It was always about content missing on the page and schema markup being present.
 
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We started seeing rating rich results (ie. stars) start to disappear yesterday. What is interesting is that we saw the rich results for BlogPosting, Article, NewsArticle, and Services also disappear. These were rich results that fell under the featured snippet documentation prior to May, but after that were removed.

I believe the intention for this change is to tighten up who gets review rich snippets to better inform searchers with real community validation. This is a good thing overall. They do mention in the clarification posted on the announcement on 9/18 that ratings for things like Recipes will still be shown because it is helpful to the user. From this standpoint, I think some of the other categories like BlogPosting, Article, etc may come back.

As for Local Business and Organization markup. For now it appears we need to focus on gathering reviews on 3rd party sites. Previously we had seen aggregate rating work on an Organization site that pointed to 3rd party, as they roll out this change we will continue to see if this is a option now.

We'll be publishing a post on our blog on Schema App's website if you want to stay up to date on our findings. I'll also try to chime in here when we see them.
 

JoyHawkins

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Thanks for chiming in Martha. Please do share your article here when you post it - I'd love to read it.

@BipperMedia thanks for sharing those screenshots. Super helpful.
 

LilyRayNYC

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We started seeing rating rich results (ie. stars) start to disappear yesterday. What is interesting is that we saw the rich results for BlogPosting, Article, NewsArticle, and Services also disappear. These were rich results that fell under the featured snippet documentation prior to May, but after that were removed.

I believe the intention for this change is to tighten up who gets review rich snippets to better inform searchers with real community validation. This is a good thing overall. They do mention in the clarification posted on the announcement on 9/18 that ratings for things like Recipes will still be shown because it is helpful to the user. From this standpoint, I think some of the other categories like BlogPosting, Article, etc may come back.

As for Local Business and Organization markup. For now it appears we need to focus on gathering reviews on 3rd party sites. Previously we had seen aggregate rating work on an Organization site that pointed to 3rd party, as they roll out this change we will continue to see if this is a option now.

We'll be publishing a post on our blog on Schema App's website if you want to stay up to date on our findings. I'll also try to chime in here when we see them.

Hey Martha, please update if you are seeing 3rd party reviews still working as a way to obtain stars. We have one client who used Trustpilot reviews on Local pages and is seeing stars disappear. John Mueller also indicated this would be the case.
 

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