1 September 2016

Google's New Guidelines for Local Business Listing

Google's New Guidelines for Local Business Listing

Google’s guidelines for Schema have been updated in regards to the way companies are allowed to markup their local business reviews.

Local business reviews

Besides including additional new rules, Google has banned a few previously accepted practices. In particular, businesses are no longer allowed to markup reviews they receive from third party websites.

In simple terms, third-party reviews are still allowed on your site, but only without Schema markup. From this point on, only reviews that have been created by your website will be permitted by Google to have Schema markup. If the same review was produced off-site, a markup would be a violation of Google’s guidelines for Schema.

Google’s guidelines for Schema

Be sure to adhere to Google’s guidelines for local listings if you plan to use Schema markup on your website reviews.

  • Genuine Snippets:Only snippets that are independent, genuine and unpaid editorial reviews can be written or provided by a content provider or business.

  • Positive and Negative Reviews:Customer must be allowed to post both positive and negative reviews. A business may not restrict any positive or negative content of a review before submitting it to Google.

  • No Template Sentences: No built-in sentence templates or automated system metrics may be used for reviews.

  • One Review Per Location: Multiple-location business reviews, such as franchises or retail chain stores can only be submitted for the one specific location the review was written. One review for one business location cannot be applied to all of the locations within the same company.

  • No Paid Reviews:Content providers or aggregators are not allowed to accept payment or otherwise to provide business reviews.

  • No Duplicate Reviews:Duplicate or similar reviews from varying sources or across several businesses are not allowed.

  • Only Direct Website Reviews for Schema: Include only reviews that have come directly from your website, do not add third-party or syndicated reviews to your site.