Understanding changes to the way Google operates is a big part of success within any internet marketing company, and a recent change they announced could play a big role in one specific area here: Reviews and review stars. On Monday September 16, Google made the announcement that they would begin restricting review stars on search engine results pages (SERPs) to more specific schemas, eliminating reviews that they determined were “self-serving” in the process.
At SEO Werkz, we’re proud to offer a wide range of search engine optimization services for you and your business, including detailed expertise on Google reviews and all related areas. What are the recent changes that were made, when and how did this happen, and how might this impact you? Here’s a basic primer in this two-part blog.
As we noted above, Google made the announcement of their change on September 16. As of that morning, the percentage of SERPs with review stars hovered just below 14 percent, according to data from tracking site Moz.
By the following morning, this number had dropped to under 36 percent. By two days later, the morning of September 18, the number had fallen to under 34 percent, where it has mostly maintained since.
Of the 20 primary categories generally influenced the most by Google reviews, each saw some kind of change based on this Google update – but the actual results varied significantly by industry. Some saw drops of under 5 percent in terms of their rate of SERPs with reviews, while others saw massive drops approaching 50 percent. Industries with decreases of over 20 percent included:
When it comes to the SERPs that contain review snippets, on the other hand, it appears the changes from Google have not had an impact. SERPs with review snippets stayed almost exactly the same before and after the update, meaning it seems the changes only impact others.
What about the actual quantity of snippet reviews in question? Again, there was very little change here. The percentage of reviews based on overall quantity of review snippets was pretty much the same, with nearly 50 percent of SERPs containing review snippets showing only one result, then dropping consistently as the count gets higher.
In part two of this blog, we’ll look into a few natural questions you may have regarding how these changes impact you and your business. To learn more about this or find out about any of our SEO, PPC or web design services, speak to the staff at SEO Werkz today.