One type of rich Search result that appears as one of Google’s 10 blue links includes “scores and/or stars.” Star ratings provide a convenient, inline experience in Google Search when looking for products and services, with the company making “algorithmic updates” today.

The focus of today’s tweaks for “review rich results” makes them “more helpful and meaningful.” Google is also addressing invalid or misleading implementations that have been flagged to them in the past.

Search is limiting the pool of schema types — and respective subtypes — that can potentially trigger review rich results in Search. This is due to the fact that while sites can attach review markup to any schema type, star reviews do not add use value in all results. Google is focussing on schema types that “lend themselves to reviews.” The full list includes:

  • schema.org/Book
  • schema.org/Course
  • schema.org/CreativeWorkSeason
  • schema.org/CreativeWorkSeries
  • schema.org/Episode
  • schema.org/Event
  • schema.org/Game
  • schema.org/HowTo
  • schema.org/LocalBusiness
  • schema.org/MediaObject
  • schema.org/Movie
  • schema.org/MusicPlaylist
  • schema.org/MusicRecording
  • schema.org/Organization
  • schema.org/Product
  • schema.org/Recipe
  • schema.org/SoftwareApplication

Google Search star ratings Meanwhile, Google is combating self-serving reviews — where the entity being reviewed controls the reviews themselves — that “aren’t in the best interest of users.” Review rich results will no longer be displayed for the LocalBusiness and Organization schema types.

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.

Lastly, webmasters are required to add name property of what’s being reviewed. Google says that today’s Search star rating changes require little to no work to implement.

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