Making Review Rich Results more helpful

Search results that are enhanced by review rich results can be extremely helpful when searching for products or services (the scores and/or “stars” you sometimes see alongside search results).

Review stars example in search results

To make them more helpful and meaningful, we are now introducing algorithmic updates to reviews in rich results. This also addresses some of the invalid or misleading implementations webmasters have flagged to us.

Focus on schema types that lend themselves to reviews

While, technically, you can attach review markup to any schema type, for many types displaying star reviews does not add much value for the user. With this change, we’re limiting the pool of schema types that can potentially trigger review rich results in search. Specifically, we’ll only display reviews with those types (and their respective subtypes):

Self-serving reviews aren’t allowed

Reviews that can be perceived as “self-serving” aren’t in the best interest of users. 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. That’s why, with this change, we’re not going to display review rich results anymore for the schema types localBusiness and Organization (and their subtypes) in cases when the entity being reviewed controls the reviews themselves.

Add the name of the item that’s being reviewed

With this update, the name property is now required, so you’ll want to make sure that you specify the name of the item that’s being reviewed.
This update will help deliver a much more meaningful review experience for users, while requiring little to no changes on the part of most webmasters. You can find all those updates documented in our developer documentation. If you have any questions, feel free to come to our webmaster forums!