Google Updates Local Review Guidelines!

Google has updated the local reviews guidelines or marking up reviews explaining when you can make use of Scheme markup and when not.

Here is the new list of guidelines:

  • If the content provider or the business are not independent and genuine then they can’t provide the snippets.

  • Customers are allowed to express both positive and negative sentiments. They may not be restricted by the content provider according to the positive/negative sentiment prior to the submission to Google.

  • While putting reviews, keep in mind that template sentences built from data or automated metrics cannot be used.

  • Reviews for multiple-location businesses cannot be used in every business locations of the same company.

  • Content providers are not supposed to have any paid or commercial agreements for adding new reviews.

  • Duplicate or similar reviews are not allowed.

  • Only include reviews that have been directly produced by your site, not the third-party reviews.

The main change is only “directly produced by your site, not reviews from third-party sites or syndicated reviews” should be marked up, according to these guidelines.

This may impact a large number of websites that have implemented local reviews markup.