Review Snippets for Attorneys No Longer Displayed in Google Search

Sep 28, 2021 - Views: 143 - this post if you find it interesting!

It looks like Google has made a tweak to the way its search results are displayed: Dropping the rich results review snippets for attorneys and doctors.

Previously, Google allowed you to enrich the search results for your business with reviews by adding a snippet of code. However, the company has changed its mind about who gets to show review stars.

Here is the screenshot side by side from a Twitter’s post of a Local SEO expert, Joy Hawkins. 

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You may notice that the stars and rating information are not shown below the page link.

In September 2019, Google announced that it would disable these kinds of rich review snippets for some kinds of pages, but not all. Now, these changes should be in effect for some categories of pages.

Why Did Google Disable Review Stars for Lawyers?

According to Google, the change is not aimed to “punish” law firms or similar businesses, but to remove reviews that can be perceived as “self-serving” and to make rich review snippets more specific and meaningful for its users.

"We call reviews “self-serving” when a review about entity A is placed on the website of entity A—either directly in their markup or via an embedded 3rd party widget,” said Google. 

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Google drops the rich results review snippets for attorneys

Under that definition, rich review snippets for many local organizations like law firms, medical practices are not be displayed in search. Whereas, other kinds of search results like specific recipes and individual products, continue to see review stars.

For example, when users see review stars in a search for “the best soup recipes,” they know that it’s the recipe that is being rated, not the blog that posted it. 

What Should Business do following Google’s Review Schema Changes?

Losing the enriched search results is a little bit frustrating, but businesses don’t need to worry about it. Stopping the rich results review snippets for attorneys is just one out of the regular changes Google makes to the way its search results are presented. 

If you have used review schema heavily before, you don’t need to pull it off your website’s code. As stated, Google did not aim to penalize sites that use review schema, but simply no longer uses that subset of schema to augment its search results.

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Review Snippets for Attorneys No Longer Displayed in Google Search

The review schema apart, businesses also should continue to use other markups that won’t be affected by the change such as markups for NAP (name, address, phone number) info. 

Although Google isn’t using good reviews, ratings, and testimonials in search results, you may need to continue to build your review strategy and highlight them as powerful trust signals and persuasive conversion elements.

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Source: https://www.fosterwebmarketing.com/blog/goodbye-to-some-review-stars-in-google-search.cfm