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Google Schema Guidelines for Local Business Reviews Updates

Google Local Business Reviews Guidelines updated earlier this month on August 4, 2016, brings a notable changes to the schema markup on the content reviews.

In addition to adding new rules that were not previously in place,

According to new guidelines, the company now says that site owner should now add the schema mark up to ‘only’ those reviews that are directly produced by their own site.

Previously, Google allowed to add schema markup to any third-party syndicated reviews included on your website as well, but this practise is not allowed anymore and is considered a Google guidelines violation.

Keep in mind, adding third-party content reviews on your site is not affected, [as long as they are not Schema marked up].

Google Local Business Reviews Guidelines update: schema markup not allowed on third-party content

Check out the new guidelines to ensure they are being followed by you. From the Local business reviews guidelines page (via):

  • Snippets must not be written or provided by the business or content provider unless they are genuine, independent, and unpaid editorial reviews.
  • Reviews must allow for customers to express both positive and negative sentiments. They may not be vetted by the business or restricted by the content provider based on the positive/negative sentiment of the review before submission to Google.
  • Reviews cannot be template sentences built from data or automated metrics. For example, the following is not acceptable: “Based on X number of responses, on average people experienced X with this business.”
  • Reviews for multiple-location businesses such as retail chains or franchises can only be submitted for the specific business location for which they were written. In other words, reviews for multiple-location businesses cannot be syndicated or applied to all business locations of the same company.
  • Aggregators or content providers must have no commercial agreements paid or otherwise with businesses to provide reviews.
  • Do not include reviews that are duplicate or similar reviews across many businesses or from different sources.
  • Only include reviews that have been directly produced by your site, not reviews from third- party sites or syndicated reviews.
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