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Are your review rich results (stars) not showing up in Google searches?


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To quote Google, they have announced “algorithmic updates to reviews in rich results” to decide if the stars should be shown or not – which might mean you have noticed your stars have vanished from search result snippets.

‘Review rich results’ are when Google takes the star rating from your reviews, and shows them in the search results. It does this by taking the schema structured data related to reviews and showing the searcher your gold stars and rating, combined with snippets of reviews.

If you are selling or marketing online, you definitely want these to show up! They help to give you an edge over other search results and lend credibility and social proof to your product or service.

So, what’s changed?

Review rich results will now only be shown for:

  • A clear set of schema types for review snippets
  • Non “self-serving” reviews
  • Reviews that have the “name” property within the markup

Let’s unpack those changes…

What schema types are allowed?

Here is a list of the schema types that are currently allowed to show review rich results in the Google search results:

  • Books
  • Courses
  • Creative Work Seasons (TV, Radio, Video Game, etc.)
  • Creative Work Series
  • Episodes
  • Events
  • Games
  • How To’ss
  • Local Businesses
  • Media Objects
  • Movies
  • Music Playlists
  • Music Recordings
  • Organisations
  • Products
  • Recipes
  • Software Applications

What is a ‘self-serving’ review?

Let’s hear from Google on this one – “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. “

In non-Google speak; if you have a page on your website of customer reviews – the algorithm might decide that it isn’t customer-focused, and more self-serving, so will choose not to display the review rich results.

Even if the review data on that page was coded using the LocalBusiness or Organization schema type – it could still be seen as self-serving. But, if you use another company to aggregate your reviews, because they are not the same company as the one the reviews are talking about, that page can qualify for the review rich-snippet on a search for your company’s name.

Good news for e-Commerce companies! The traditional product reviews on your product pages shouldn’t be affected, as long as the product data is marked up with structured data in the Product schema type.

The “name” property.

A significant change is that it is now an absolute requirement to include the name property in the featured snippets.

Google says that you need to “make sure that you specify the name of the item that’s being reviewed.”

So – check your structured data and update with the “name” property ASAP!

Not sure how to make these changes and get your review rich results showing?

Flick me a message or get in touch with my team at and we’ll handle that for you – no stress.

Let's do this!



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