Google is continually making changes that are meant to serve its users more effectively, but sometimes hurt the pocketbooks of business owners. Recently, the way their local business reviews are indexed has changed in an attempt to circumvent review-rich content that is widely controlled by the business itself.
Review snippets are often used as a snap decision for potential customers to choose a local company to do business with. This change is said to help negate the effects of companies who are using reviews for self-serving purposes. Previously, review stars seen next to search results can be wildly different from the actual reviews a company has earned and this change hopes to fix that.
Instead of letting the new review schema for local businesses and their subtypes let you lose sleep, companies need to learn to adapt to the changes Google is making. Stay visible during the Google Review Schema change and don’t lose business over it.
What is a Self-Serving Review, and why is Google Hiding Them?
Reviews that can be seen as “self-serving” aren’t to the most significant advantage of clients. Google categorizes reviews as self-serving when they are hosted or otherwise controlled on the company’s website. This process is seen as not showing the full picture of reviews and does not give a clear picture of the company’s offering. That is why the change is happening, providing a more transparent review process for Local Businesses and Organizations instead of a highly controlled review process. Here are some examples of self-serving reviews that will be hidden soon.
- Reviews hosted directly on the company website
- Reviews hosted via widget placed on the company website
- Reviews that are moderated by the website owner
- Reviews that are not for a particular product
Stay Ahead of the Google Business Review Schema Change
Give each reviewed item a name.
- Due to the recent update, a name for each item being reviewed is now required. Adding this information to your reviews, or having the name of each reviewed product automatically link will help your review schema to remain seen on Google search options.
Prepare for the upcoming update by making changes now.
- As the rollout of the update hasn’t happened yet, you may think you are unaffected by this change. Instead of putting off the changes that need to be made to your site, go ahead and make the updates now to save yourself the nightmare of playing catch up once the changes go live.