In the Google Search Central Office Hours Hangout on 09/03/2021, one webmaster was asking about the behavior of data within Google Search Console (GSC).
He was curious about the differences between lists of what should be the same types of errors. It’s an issue with lists of URLs not appearing valid when they were valid before.
John explained that for these reports, they will show a sample of URLs from a specific website, which is what’s reported on in GSC.
It’s not that they ignore the other URLs from the website or they are bad. It’s that they just didn’t check those other URLs, which is why they were excluded from the report.
He explained that the total number of URLs checked can change over time. They might check 200 URLs of a 1,000-URL website for mobile friendliness. Then another time, they only check 100. It means that the total number of mobile-friendly URLs can likely go down.
But it doesn’t mean the number of physical mobile-friendly URLs on your site went down.
This webmaster also asked about structured data markup for products. They explained that they know you need to at least include reviews, the aggregate rating, or offers—one of these three specific structured data types. Otherwise, the structured data markup is invalid.
They also asked if they can link to other sites for reviews instead of having them on the site.
John explained that there shouldn’t be a problem with linking to other sites for those reviews. It shouldn’t present a problem.
Google has guidelines for how you must markup this type of review data, shown here.
This webmaster is concerned about these links because of the following:
Google has rules regarding where you are not allowed to copy/paste reviews from Google onto your own site.
The main issue is copying and pasting Google reviews into your site from Google Maps. You can’t do this because this is a violation of their TOS, even if they are reviews for your own site, product, service, etc. But linking to other sites for those reviews shouldn’t be a problem.
This discussion occurs at the 9:56 mark in the video: