Google announced an update to Reviews Rich Results. The goal is to improve the Reviews Rich Results for users and to
“address” abusive implementation and impose limits to where rich results trigger. Additionally,the “name” property
Reviews Rich Results
The reviews rich results are explained in Google’s Review Snippet developer page. Google takes your schema structured data related to reviews and show stars in the search results.
The rich snippets developer page states:
“Review snippets may appear in rich results or Google Knowledge Panels.”
It’s the guidelines on their appearance in the rich results that is affected.
Limits Imposed on When Rich Results Reviews are Shown
Google announced that the display of rich results reviews will be limited. This means that any reviews outside of those limits will no longer show review snippets.
These are the allowed schema types:
Self-serving Reviews Not Allowed
Self-serving reviews are reviews of oneself. Google will no longer display self-serving reviews in the featured snippets.
This is how Google explained it:
“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. “
“name” Property is Now Required
In perhaps the biggest change to Reviews Rich Results is the mandatory requirement of the name property in the featured snippets.
Publishers who rely on schema structured data plugins, including Reviews WordPress Plugins, should check if their plugin is currently including the “name” property.
If the name property is not included with your plugin then look for an update to your plugin and update it. If there is no “name” update then it may be something your plugin maker has in a future update.
You may wish to contact your plugin maker to find out when this is coming because the “name” property is now important.
Will Rich Results Disappear if “name” Property Missing?
Google did not say if failure to have the “name” property in the structured data will result in a loss of the Reviews Rich Result. They only said it’s required.
“With this update, the name property is now required, so you’ll want to make sure that you specify the name of the item that’s being reviewed.”
This is an important update for publishers who use reviews structured data. Make sure your structured data is properly updated in order to continue to show rich results for your structured data.
Read Google’s announcement here