Google Announces an Algorithmic Update To Local Business Schema Markup

Explore what is schema markup, its formats, changes, and a lot more to rock the search engines!

Schema Markup and its Formats

Schema Markup is a piece of code used to provide the SERPs with your business name, its logo, phone number, work hours, address, and other such details. It helps them parse and understand your website’s data efficiently.

Below is the summary of three basic Schema formats used for the most popular search engines:

  1. Microdata – This standard format provides a simple mechanism for inserting your metadata within existing webpage content.
  2. RDFa – Resource Description Framework in Attributes (RDFa) is used to add attribute-level extensions to HTML 5, helping you easily mark up the reviews, places, people, etc. RDFa also supports other languages like SVG and XML.
  3. JSON-LD – Recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium, JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data) is a structured format used to read and write data on the website easily.

Over the past few years, the review schema has gained significant traction among SEO professionals. They use it as an essential optimization strategy to rule the SERPs and appear in the answers, carousels, and other snippets that can be generated.

Google recently announced an important algorithmic update for making Review Rich Results more helpful. Let’s check it out!

What’s Changed?

According to Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, if your Review Rich Results (the star ratings) refer to your own website, they’ll not appear with your business link on the organic SERP.

If you’ve noticed a sudden disappearance of those so-called stars from your reviews, you might have been a prey to this update! It happened because your reviews were “self-serving,” or in more simple words, they were placed for your product on your own website.

So the question is, how the algorithm detects self-served reviews?

If you have a testimonial page on your website coded as a local business schema type, the algorithm will consider it not customer-centric and hence, will not display the review rich results on SERPs. However, if you use some other company for the same reviews, then being from a different domain, they will easily qualify for the review rich-snippet.

And, if you are worried about the existing starless reviews, then you can freely let them be there as they are neither going to cost you a penalty nor negatively affect your business ranking. The only difference will be the removal of stars so you can still use them to gain customer trust.

Conclusion

According to schema.org (it’s a collaboration between Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo), there are above 10 million sites that use the schema markup to rank their web pages. So to help your local business grow fast and rule the search engines, you must use Google schema markup.

We hope you liked this guide. We discussed schema markup, its formats, updates, and how you can get review rich results with these algorithmic changes. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about the update here below in comments!

Right Menu Icon