Linda Buquet

Moderator
Local Search Expert
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,312
Reaction score
4,241
Now this is interesting???

Customer reviews are not considered by Google as reviews and therefore should not have rich snippet reviews markup?

Am I still half asleep or am I reading that wrong?

From Search Engine Roundtable:

<a href="https://www.seroundtable.com/google-testimonials-markup-19636.html">Testimonials Should Not Have Google Rich Snippet Reviews Markup</a>

Google's John Mueller in a Google Webmaster Help thread stated that testimonials are not reviews and thus should not contain the rich snippet markup for reviews...

Reviews are more aimed at product reviews versus how much you like or dislike a company. So to include reviews markup on testimonials, is against Google's guidelines. As it seems...

See the direct quote from John Mueller of Google, over at Barry's.

Yelp and others use review markup all the time, right? Is it different because it's reviews on your site by your own customers??? Is that why John is calling them testimonials?

What do you think?
 

Dev

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Messages
21
Reaction score
3
Interesting.. What is a review other than someones personal opinion and rating on a product or service? Same question applies to testimonials, really..

I have product reviews on my website that have review mark up on them.. The reviews not only include my personal take, but other's testimonials on the products as well.. Does that mean I should remove the mark up?

Yup.. I'm confused. Thanks Google.
 

David Deering

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
206
Reaction score
74
Hi Linda. Well, I'm with you--it's definitely a little confusing. But to Google, testimonials and reviews are not the same. Testimonials are pretty much always obtained from happy customers and are positive. Reviews, on the other hand, are submitted by a variety of customers and can be positive or negative. They also usually include some sort of rating scale ("Rated 5 stars out of 5" or " Rated 98/100", etc).

There's also a major difference in how the two are obtained. Testimonials usually are obtained through email or in print and are submitted directly to the business. And of course, we only ask our happy customers for them. Reviews are usually obtained through some sort of review system or platform and are not supposed to be filtered by the company. So if you were to take all of your testimonials and mark them up with review structured data, giving them all a rating of 5 out of 5, well that's really not an honest and fair assessment of your company by a variety of your customers.

So Google wants reviews to be obtained honestly and posted unfiltered. One way to help them see that you're trying to do that is by having some sort of system on your page where customers can post their unfiltered reviews to that page. To Google, that's a lot more trustworthy than simply listing a bunch of reviews on the page and marking them up with structured data. After all, they don't know where those reviews came from. Maybe they came from actual customers, or maybe you made them all up; they don't know. And if you simply post and mark up the aggregate rating, such as "Rated 5 out of 5 by 27 customers", well that's even less trustworthy because anybody can do that. So having a review collection system in place on the page is rather important to help Google trust your marked up reviews.

Google also wants the structured data markups that you add to your page for rich snippets to be representative of the main content on the page. A homepage includes a variety of content, so adding some review and/or aggregate rating markup to it does not really represent the main content on that page. Google knows that most website owners do it so that they can get some stars in the SERPs when their homepage appears. But it's not something that they like to see.

There's definitely nothing wrong with including some reviews and ratings on your site and marking them up with schema. But as I mentioned above, the page should also include a means in which customers can leave and post an unfiltered review. My advice to clients is to have a page dedicated to customer reviews that contains both the reviews and ratings and a review system. Those reviews and ratings can be marked up, and Google will trust that set up much more. Of course, there's no guarantee that Google will display the rich snippets for those, but at the very least, they will be prone to trust them more.

I agree, it is confusing and Google's help documents and guidelines are not always very clear about this stuff. But I hope this helps clarify things a little.
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Local Search Expert
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,312
Reaction score
4,241
Thanks David, great overview!

I think part of the issue too was that John's comment was so short, it left a lot to the imagination.

So then Barry summed it up with his interpretation, which I think was incorrect:
"Reviews are more aimed at product reviews versus how much you like or dislike a company."

Not true. Google reviews are reviews too they are all about your opinion of a company. So are Yelp's etc.
 

David Deering

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
206
Reaction score
74
Yeah, I agree. And reviews can indeed be about companies. The markups just have to be structured and nested properly to help Google understand who or what is being reviewed.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Hi Linda,

In the last Bright Local webinar, I had thought the panelists mentioned that it is possible for non Google+ reviews to show up in the 5 star rating in Google SERPs using schema/rich snippets. Is this true? If so, does the review (let's say from Yelp or TripAdvisor), have to be on your website or can it be taken right from the yelp website? Also, if there is not a 1-5 scale, such as a 1-10 rating or 1-100 rating, then how does Google know to convert it into a 1-5 star rating?
 

mborgelt

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
479
Reaction score
155
Hi Linda,

In the last Bright Local webinar, I had thought the panelists mentioned that it is possible for non Google+ reviews to show up in the 5 star rating in Google SERPs using schema/rich snippets. Is this true? If so, does the review (let's say from Yelp or TripAdvisor), have to be on your website or can it be taken right from the yelp website? Also, if there is not a 1-5 scale, such as a 1-10 rating or 1-100 rating, then how does Google know to convert it into a 1-5 star rating?

Yes. Using structured data you put an aggregate review markup on the page and the star rating can show up in SERPs. You can also use the generic review markup but I have found that using the aggregate markup get the stars to show in search more consistently.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Yes. Using structured data you put an aggregate review markup on the page and the star rating can show up in SERPs. You can also use the generic review markup but I have found that using the aggregate markup get the stars to show in search more consistently.

Does the rating that shows up in the Google SERPs get counted in with the reviews on the Google Plus profile or does it just show on the SERP for the page that has the markup?
 

mborgelt

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
479
Reaction score
155
These snippets only show up for the page that is marked up. See below:
2015-02-05_16-26-49.jpg
If the page you do it for is ranking I think it has great value for users

2015-02-05_16-26-49.jpg
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
djbaxter Google on Interstitial Ads: Do what we say, not what we do Organic SEO 0
M Google says information isn't the same between two listings Google Duplicates & Merges 1
A Help pls - Same building, same brand, different companies - Google say no. Google My Business & Google Maps 11
djbaxter Need advice. Google post card sent. Now client says no mail delivery there. Help & Support for Google Local 3
Margaret Ornsby Google Feedback Program - Have Your Say Google My Business & Google Maps 0
djbaxter Google Again Says We Don't Use Social Media For Ranking Organic SEO 6
djbaxter Google Says AMP Not A Ranking Factor Mobile & Social 0
Dustybones Want to Index Faster? Google Says Use PubSubHubbub Local Search 1
Dustybones Google says no need for mobile sitemap Local Search 0
K Duplicate listing. I see it, but Google says it doesn't exist. Google My Business & Google Maps 3
Linda Buquet Google Support Says GMB Description Helps Rankings? Pigeon Ranking Signal Change? Google My Business & Google Maps 14
Linda Buquet Google My Business After the Dust: What Experts Say Now - Videos & Opinions Google My Business & Google Maps 0
Rich Owings Google says client has manager access but they don't Help & Support for Google Local 9
Chris Ratchford Dual claimed listing in old dashboard- Google says SOL Google My Business & Google Maps 3
S Anybody want to take a guess at what Google is saying? Service Area Businesses 7
S Anybody want to take a guess at what Google is saying? Service Area Businesses 7
R Mapmaker POI Deleted + Google Places Dashboard saying 'Pending Review' Help & Support for Google Local 6
david.victor Attribute used as Category by Google on Maps NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 0
M Google Search Console Errors "Coverage and Breadcrumbs"? Google My Business & Google Maps 4
Lachlan_Wells Accept/Discard Google Updates - Does this feature work for you? NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 2
E "Duplicate" Profile That Google Claims We Already Manage? Google Duplicates & Merges 2
T Can a Credit Union Create Google Posts Without Falling Under Prohibited Content? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
djbaxter Google My Business Bug Dropping SAB Businesses In Independence, Kansas Service Area Businesses 1
JamesGreenaway Google Insights query Google My Business & Google Maps 1
RobertCarnitas Google Posts Live on GMB, But Not Showing in GMB Dashboard Google My Business & Google Maps 1
rickvidallon How Do You Access The Buttons In Google My Business For Online Services? Local Search 4
NexstarNickR Google Star Rating: LSA vs. GMB All Things Google My Business [PRIVATE] (LocalU) 2
Phil Rozek Google Maps reviews get "New" label for reviews less than 1 month old Local Reviews 5
JoyHawkins Get Live Inventory Displayed on Your Google My Business Listing Google My Business & Google Maps 6
JoyHawkins Google Testing 2-Packs on Mobile Google News: Important Changes & Features 4
Paul Gregory Google Maps default location bias distance and the Google Maps Places API Google Algorithm Discussions 2
Chris Ratchford Google Analytics - setting up goals for click-to-call Organic SEO 2
L Google ranking in Legal Field Organic SEO 1
Cherie Dickey Something funny going on in Google Maps... am I missing something? Google My Business & Google Maps 1
hajnasiewicz Google Marketing Kit: Create Video Local Content 3
S Google LSA Lead Board - How to manage? Paid Search and Local Service Ads 1
krystaltaing Google My Business Bulk Verification Limit Reached? Multi-Location Issues 0
K Unable to get verified in Google for SAB Local Search 14
Matt Chauhan Google Maps showing category that doesn't even exist Local Search 1
djbaxter Brightlocal Tool shows Large Google Local Search Algorithm Update March 10, 2021 Google Algorithm Discussions 1
D Local Services and Google my Business Paid Search and Local Service Ads 2
F Google Maps Citation confusion? Google My Business & Google Maps 3
K Google requiring storefront photos Google Duplicates & Merges 4
Rich Owings Google community challenge to update 100,000 businesses Google My Business & Google Maps 0
cleverlyengaged Advice on Landmarks/POI/Unclaimed Google Map Locations? Google My Business & Google Maps 6
R What steps should I take to get my suspended and denied Google My business approved? Help & Support for Google Local 1
Jac Google My business Photos - Uploaded but not reflecting on contribution page Google My Business & Google Maps 3
AndySimpson Google My Business Opening Date - What Date Should You Use? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
Lanerizz Google Analytics 4 Organic SEO 1
M Google Local Services Ads - Lack of Leads Paid Search and Local Service Ads 14

Similar threads

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Most UpVoted Answers

Trending: Most Viewed

LocalU Podcasts

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert


Top Bottom