Google Updated Schema Guidelines for Local Business Reviews

Schema Guidelines for Local Business Reviews

Google has updated his Schema Guidelines for Local Business Reviews. These guidelines simply state when to use schema markup on the reviews and when not to use it.

Google has added some new rules to these guidelines. Also, Google mentioned few practices that you must ignore. For example, businesses used to be able to add markup to reviews received from third-party sites, but that is now no longer the case.

These changes going to impact a large number of websites that have implemented local reviews markup.

Here is the new list of Schema Guidelines for Local Business Reviews.

  • Snippets must not be written or provided by the business or content provider unless they are genuine, independent, and unpaid editorial reviews.
  • Reviews must allow for customers to express both positive and negative sentiments. They may not be vetted by the business or restricted by the content provider based on the positive/negative sentiment of the review before submission to Google.
  • Reviews cannot be template sentences built from data or automated metrics. For example, the following is not acceptable. “Based on X number of responses, on average people experienced X with this business.”
  • Reviews for multiple-location businesses such as retail chains or franchises can only be submitted for the specific business location for which they were written. In other words, reviews for multiple-location businesses cannot be syndicated or applied to all business locations of the same company.
  • Aggregators or content providers must have no commercial agreements paid or otherwise with businesses to provide reviews.
  • Do not include reviews that are duplicate or similar reviews across many businesses or from different sources.
  • Only include reviews that have been directly produced by your site, not reviews from third-party sites or syndicated reviews.

The important change is, if you include third-party reviews on your website, you should not mark up those reviews with the schema.  Only “directly produced by your site, not reviews from third-party sites or syndicated reviews” should be marked up, according to these guidelines.

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A freelance Technical Writer, worked as a Software and Web Developer, a Product Support Specialist in World Wide Web, experienced in Digital Marketing and a Technical Journalist in computer publishing industry.