Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | October 9, 2019

Google Will No Longer Display Local Business Review Rich Results

Are you wondering why your rich snippets just suddenly disappeared? Recently, Google announced they will no longer display review rich snippets in search results for Local Businesses and Organizations. In this latest Google update, Google will start ignoring schema markup for reviews on the websites of local businesses and organizations. Here’s a look at what that means and how it will affect your business.

What are Review Rich Snippets?

Google rich snippets refer to the additional data displayed with web search results. This data is pulled from structured data found in a web page’s HTML. Google review rich snippets are pulled from actual customer reviews from structured data found on a webpage. Google then displays this data as an average star rating under the search result URL.

Why are Review Rich Snippets Not Showing Up?

Google is no longer displaying review rich snippets for local businesses because “reviews that can be perceived as ‘self-serving’ aren’t in the best interest of users,” according to Google’s Webmasters blog. Local Businesses and Organizations that display their reviews on their website either directly in their markup or using an embedded widget is considered “self-serving”. Here is Google’s official messaging:

Will Sites Be Punished for Displaying Reviews with Schema Markup?

No. Google is not asking that people remove the structured data from their reviews. Instead, Google simply won’t display them. For sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor that gather reviews on behalf of businesses will not be affected because these are not seen as “self-serving”. However, this does not mean local business pages with 3rd-party review widgets will have those ratings displayed in search results.

Will Rich Snippets In Product Reviews Disappear? 

Google is only removing review rich results for local businesses and organizations, other reviews, like product reviews will still be displayed. These types of reviews are perceived as more valuable to a user and therefore aren’t considered “self-serving”. Although Google’s schema markup data will not show review rich results for local businesses and organizations anymore, here is a list of all the review schema types.

Will this Effect Reviews on my Google My Business (GMB) Listing?

No. Your GMB reviews are not going anywhere and are still searchable. This Google update only applies to organic web search results.

What Does This Mean for Chatmeter users?

For Chatmeter users who are using our Review Widget tool to display reviews on their website or local pages, Google will no longer read the review markup on the widgets. However, we don’t recommend removing review widgets from your site. Displaying reviews on your website has been shown to increase customer conversion by up to 270%.

Google will not be displaying review rich snippets for local businesses or organizations from any 3rd-party review widget, regardless of the service used. No local business nor organization will have the advantage of displaying reviews rich snippets from 3rd-party widgets – please be wary of any review widget service that says they can do this.

In light of this news, we encourage brands to focus on their GMB review management strategy. This will help brands increase their local search rankings (the top-3 results appear above organic web rankings) as 15% of how Google ranks a local business is due to review signals. To see where your local business currently ranks, try our instant brand audit tool.