Are you enamoured by the little gold stars below listings in the search results? Well, so are prospective customers.
When something new comes out, we always tell everyone that you have a short window to take advantage of this opportunity to leverage something new. Because, once Google understands how the web population uses it and tries to manipulate it, all bets off. Now you will be required to play by a new set of rules (you should hope you got ahead of the pack and implemented the basics very early in the game).
Google has clamped down on which sites/pages get stars in their rich snippets. Even if you do everything properly, you still may not see stars on every (or any) of the pages you want them on. The best bet, though, is to try to keep your implementation as above board as possible by following these rules:
These ones are mandatory and somewhat enforceable:
- Don’t use aggregateRating on your home page (they just won’t work and may be a spam signal)
- aggregateRating score must represent actual reviews that are all visible on your site
- If you don’t show the actual reviews on a given page, but are using aggregateRating schema, that page needs to clearly show the review score and link to the page where the reviews are visible
- Pages you put the aggregateRating score on must be relevant to the reviews
- Reviews should be unique to your site (not pulled from Google, Yelp, etc.)
Note: you can put 3rd party reviews on your website, you just can’t mark them up for your rich snippet.
These ones are less enforceable, but still worth trying to oblige:
- You shouldn’t curate reviews (if you do, at least throw in a few 3’s and 4’s)
- You should have the user’s permission to publish their words
- Users should be able to add reviews (or at least make it look like they can)
- Last but not least, it appears that in order for a page to trigger stars it needs to have some authority. Well linked/trafficked pages typically stand a better chance of having review stars in the SERP.
You need a great, current website with excellent relevant content, one page for every search terms and blogs for questions, superb SEO, accurate local listings, a hoppin social media presence, excellent link building and citations (this means your page links are popular), video, mobile and more. Essentially, you need the 12 step roadmap to achieve accelerated results.
So, if you are dead set on Fast, Free and Fake - you are out of the digital marketing world and are going to need a good pair of shoes for a lot of door knockin.
If we say, "this is the only review system that is producing approved/compliant rich snippet review data, you should use this app" - tryst us or you will be spending all your time using some cheezy app that sounds good, but in reality it's not helping your business in the long haul to be removing negative reviews, getting reviews on every website but your own, fakin the funk, etc.
If we say this is new. Now's the time. You don't have time to think.... because the high achievers, the winners already said let's do it.
It's not what you want to hear, but tough love is often needed to be successful in business.