Google updated the requirements for review structured data. Failure to follow Google’s structured data requirements can make a web page ineligible to be shown for a rich result in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for review related keyword searches.
Review Featured Snippets
Successfully implemented review structured data can make a site eligible for review rich results, including stars, in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Obtaining those rich results for display in the SERPs is highly coveted because it can lead to more traffic.
The review structured data is an especially important structured data because it relates to products and thus can influence earnings.
Affiliate sites and retailers both use the review structured data because the review snippets can lead to more traffic and sales.
For that reason it’s important to get it as right as possible.
While structured data “optional” warnings are generally okay, error warnings can be indicative of a severe problem that can result in the page becoming ineligible for a rich result.
Review Structured Data Requirements
Review structured data are reviews of things like products, events, stores, courses, a business and many other things.
Not all reviews qualify for review rich results.
There are 17 valid types that Google will show results for.
Reviews of things that are not one of the 17 items will be ineligible for a review rich result and cannot benefit from it.
Thus it’s necessary to publish correct structured data and to do it using a valid structured data type within Google’s limited list of qualifying valid review types (found here).
Change in the Author Name Requirements
Google announced a change to the author name structured data field.
The author.name field is now limited to only 100 characters.
“Added a requirement that the author.name field in Review snippets must be less than 100 characters to be eligible for use in Search features.”
That means that review structured data with more than 100 characters will not be eligible for rich results in the SERPs.
Google added the following guidance about the author name in review structured data:
“This field must be shorter than 100 characters. If it’s longer than 100 characters, your page won’t be eligible for an author-based review snippet.”
Author Property for Review Structured Data
Schema.org is the organization responsible for creating and maintaining Schema structured data rules.
But Google itself is free to set requirements for what it needs in order to use it for rich results in the SERPs.
Nevertheless it’s important to be acquainted with what review structured data is and that’s found on the Schema.org website.
The Schema.org definition of the Author property for the review structured data is this:
“The author of this content or rating.
Please note that author is special in that HTML 5 provides a special mechanism for indicating authorship via the rel tag.
That is equivalent to this and may be used interchangeably.”
Consider Reviewing Your Review Structured Data
Website publishers that use the review structured data may wish to consider reviewing their implementation of the review structured data.
It may be prudent to review the author structured data property to make sure that it falls under the limit of less than 100 characters.
That means that author names that are 100 characters or more may make the review structured data ineligible for rich results.