Reviews Plateau Low After Google Crackdown
A week after Google updated its review rich results algorithm, as covered and followed by Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land, review rich results have plateaued around 33 to 36 percent, depending on which analytics tool you use.
Mozcast’ SERP Feature Graph showed the largest drop between Monday, September 16th, the day the update was initiated, and Tuesday, September 17th, with a 3 point drop from 39.2 percent to 35.8 percent. From there, it dropped a further 2 points and has stayed steady between 33.2 percent and 33.5 percent.
RankRanger’s SERP Insights showed similar results: a sudden drop and a trend towards a plateau. RankRanger varied from Moz by showing the largest drop occurring between September 17th and September 18th, with a difference of 3.8 points. While the days since September 18th have remained between 36.95 percent and 35.34 percent, September 23rd appears to be the start of an upward trend. The 23rd is the first day with a higher percentage of reviews than the previous day since September 15th, before the update.
This update was made to improve consumer trust in reviews and address the “misleading interpretations webmasters have flagged to [Google],” as stated by Google. This meant removing self-serving reviews, largely posted by the entity under review and posted to their own page. It also meant limiting schema types that trigger review rich results, reducing the number of reviews seen for things consumers may not need reviews for. For more information on why the update was implemented and how to make sure your website doesn’t lose its review rich results, visit Google’s original announcement here.