An SEO professional was concerned about John Mueller’s earlier statement in a hangout regarding not using review Schema on your own website.
They do agree with John’s notion that saying you have a 5/5 star rating when you really only have a 3 or 4 star rating would be disingenuous and not exactly honest or accurate.
But, they explain that it is common in the business context that businesses ask customers to give them feedback – especially if they like the service that was provided.
The SEO professional also went on to explain that there’s likely additional value for people searching the web if they find recommendations from third parties who have used the service.
They were curious if there was a way, a more “legal” way as they put it, that they can ask customers about writing reviews.
John explained that you can put these reviews on your home page. They would see these more as testimonials.
Even though using structured data in such a way is something that Google doesn’t like to see, they will likely simply ignore it.
He believes that sending users to a third-party review site is the best method for obtaining reviews here, rather than posting them to your home page.
For example, a review listing on Yelp, or another review site. These reviews will be picked up by Google and shown in the search results as rich snippets.
Using testimonials in this fashion on your home page in textual form is just fine, however. It’s the Schema that they are worried about people abusing.
This happens at approximately the 53:59 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
SEO Professional 9 53:59
Okay, um, yeah. I just wanted to come back to something you explained earlier, it was about these five star ratings about your own company on your own website. I mean, I see Google’s point saying that hey, it’ll be quite senseless to have that in the form of, okay, “I have a five star out of five star rating.”
However, it’s pretty common in the business context that you ask your customers to give you feedback if they are happy with the service you provide. And there will also be some additional value for people searching the internet if they were able to find these recommendations.
So um, is there a way of kind of in a Google Google Adsense legal way or helpful way that we ask our customers to write our service and to display that new customer so okay, we win I don’t know, 4.6 stars out of five would trust pilot or something be an alternative that you that we could somehow play out on the search results?
So you can definitely put these on your homepage, we would see these more as testimonials, because you’re kind of like picking and choosing what you want to show. Using structured data for that on your own website is something that we wouldn’t like to see, we would probably ignore that.
But sending users to a third party review site where they can review it, I think is kind of the best approach there. Because what would happen then is if we show that listing from that third party review site, we can show the structured data for your business there. So if that’s, I don’t know, for example, your listing on Yelp, and they have, they leave the reviews there, when that Yelp listing is shown in search, we will know like, well, this is a list of businesses, essentially.
So we can show this structured data about the business. And then we can use that review markup and show those stars in the search results. So I don’t know if Yelp has structured data. But if they do have this structured data then that’s something that we could pick up there. Showing it on your website as well, kind of in a textual form, is perfectly fine.
And testimonials are super common and super popular. But it’s just that we wouldn’t show the stars in the search results for that. So if someone searches for I don’t know, some company and SEO and you have a testimonial from that company, on your SEO business, then we can still show that as normal kind of text on a page that we found on the web.
SEO Professional 9 56:53
Okay, so there’s actually no way to link the search results about us and the star ranking about us on the search result page?
Yeah, I don’t think so. I think for some kinds of Knowledge Graph entries that we show for individual businesses, sometimes we link essentially different profiles, where you have essentially more information about that one entity. I don’t know how that works with regards to companies, if that’s something that we also do there.
But that might be something worth trying out to see like, how are other companies being shown in that regard? Is it just the Google My Business–what is it? Google profiles? What is it–Business Profiles! All these names. If it’s just the business profile being shown, or if it’s more like a Knowledge Graph entry, where we have more information about that business being shown.
And probably for businesses that are more online and not based on a physical location, probably it’s more about that Knowledge Graph entry, where we do try to pull out information from different sources.