Last week, Google cracked down on some Review Rich Results, but which law firm results will stop showing star ratings and which will continue to show them? And most important, what can you do so Google shows Rich Results on your organic listings?
Starmageddon, or if you prefer calling it by its official name, Sept. 2019 Review Rich Results Update, is an algorithm update that is changing when it allows Review Rich Results to show in the search results snippet.
Here is what to do, or stop doing, to get your law firm’s star rating snippet to survive starmageddon.
Stop Marking Up Self-Serving Reviews
Google doesn’t see it as in the user’s best interest when a website posts positive reviews about themselves on their website in a way that can be perceived as manipulated. Here is their explanation of what Self-Serving Reviews are:
“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.”
As of now, Google will not penalize websites that do not update their structure data to exclude self-serving reviews. However, they will stop being displayed on Google organic search results.
Will third-party review sites like Facebook and Yelp continue to show star ratings for law firms?
Yes, third-party sites will not be affected by this update. However, you will no longer be able to import those reviews to your site through a widget that allows you to select which reviews you would like to display.
How about first-party reviews?
First-party reviews will continue to show as long as Google can determine that you are not selective and omitting negative reviews from showing on your law firm’s site.
Like everything that has to do with an algorithmic Google update, there is a certain level of uncertainty as to who and what will get affected by it exactly. Nevertheless, if you have noticed that your site has stopped showing reviews on organic search results, check Google’s guidelines for showing Review Rich Results.
Did you know that we offer first-party review generation that complies with Google Sept. 2019 Review Rich Results Update? That’s right—we generate reviews for your business following Google best practices, which allow us to show them on organic search results. Reach out to learn more!
Do you wish we could all go back to the review-free world? Same here.