Google wants to tackle invalid or misleading online reviews across its search engine, so on Monday it announced an algorithmic update to rich review snippets, a short excerpt of a review rating from a website. These reviews appear in Google organic search when someone looks for information about a business.
The goal is to make the reviews “more helpful and meaningful.” The update should help Google determine whether or not to serve up the review and its star rating in search.
Google now will limit the amount of schema types that can potentially trigger review rich results in search. Google Software Engineer Yuxin Cao and Sven Nauman, Google Trust And Safety Search, provide a list of about seventeen types including schema.org/book, schema,org/game, and schema.org/product.
Notably, self-serving reviews -- which are not allowed -- occur when a review about a company is placed on its website, either directly in its markup or through an embedded third-party widget.
With this change, reviews in rich results markup schema types LocalBusiness and Organization, along with any subtypes, will not appear when the company being reviewed controls the review.
This update will also require the proper name of the product being reviewed. All the updates and documents are publishers in the developer documentation.
Amazon is also making changes to its review process with a one-tap system, but there has been no mention of whether the changes verify the authenticity of the review. Amazon is testing the one-tap button and calling it an “experiment,” rather than an implementation.