Google Removes ‘Self-Serving’ Star Ratings from Search Snippets


On Monday, September 16, 2019, Google released an algorithmic update to target websites that were setup to display a star rating in the search results like the example below. They specifically targeted websites where the review snippet was considered to be ‘self-serving’. Meaning, the business itself chose to add markup to its own pages, about its own business or organization.

Google perceived this type of feature to not be in the best interest of the user and therefore they have been removed. Google only wants the star rating to appear in search results for third party websites like Facebook or Yelp where the business entity is not in control of what is shown.

PS Website Photo

Why This Matters?

We wanted to bring this to your attention because this was a tactic we applied and if you are a PaperStreet SEO client, we may have informed you about this feature and set it up on your behalf. However, your star rating will no longer be appearing. All things being equal, the good news is this will also affect any of your competition’s websites that were using the same tactic.

Do I Need to Remove Self-Serving Reviews?

Google says “No, you don’t need to remove them. Google Search just won’t display review snippets for those pages anymore.” So visitors can still see what your clients are saying about your firm, they will just no longer appear as a rich snippet in search results.

Questions or Concerns?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know.

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