Google Updates Star Rating Rich Snippets

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Issue #145
September 17th, 2019

Hey, lunch buddies. 

Late last week I mapped out and implemented 40K+ redirects for an e-commerce site that was migrating content management systems. While not difficult work, it certainly takes a toll on you. The urge to “cheat” and send pages to a relevant category vs a true 1:1 match is strong. However, after reviewing the organic performance to date, the effort was well worth it. Traffic hasn’t dipped one bit. I feel confident this migration was executed very well and that this site is well-positioned to see major growth in the near future.

This serves as a reminder (to myself) and everyone that the details are important in SEO. Take your time, think twice and execute once. It will always be worth it. 

Let’s jump right into this week’s issue!


What you need to know

Article: Google’s changing review (star) rich snippets

What’s Important:
Google recognizes that review (star) rich snippets have long been manipulated by website owners. They have now implemented a few key changes to avoid manipulation and reestablish the value the markup.

Nick’s Take:
Google now limits the type of markup that will qualify for rich snippets to pop in the SERPs. This is great. However, the real game-changer is that they no longer will display markup that comes from third-party widgets. How many times have you been on a site and their trip advisor widget (ratings) are marked up and therefor are being displayed in the SERP? Say buh-bye to these!

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Interesting Reads in Your Spare Time

How Google’s Nofollow, Sponsored & UGC links impact SEO – Moz
Remember when I sent a follow up ‘alert’ 10 minutes after last weeks #SEOForLunch went out? The SEO world went crazy for the next 48 hours reading into every word written on the official Google blog post. Now that the dust has settled, Cyrus Shepard recaps the changes and how it might (not likely) impact your SEO. 

Interpreting Googles recent quality raters guide updates – TheSEMPost
Last week, I shared a post where Lily Ray covered updates to Google’s quality raters guide. This week, I follow up with Jennifer Sleggs coverage. While the updates reported are similar, I always appreciate reading the commentary and interpretation of each site’s report. Remember, while reading about the updates are great, don’t let it distract you from making meaningful changes to your site(s). 

Using Googles quality raters guidelines to assess site quality – Distilled
Great timing! We go from covering (again) the updates to Google’s QRG to a guide that shows us how to leverage the guide into actionable analysis! If Google’s QRG overwhelms you or causes you to question what you should analyze on your site, then this guide is your top read of the week. Thanks for the great write-up, Joel!

Frustrating SEO Problems – Suganthan
Suganthan is spot on in his most recent post. He accurately calls out that the SEO industry has changed so much in the past year and it’s leaving some SEOs in the dust. How are you handling double featured snippets and the ever-increasing paid search results (what do you mean you can advertise in my competitors GMB listings!?) These types of constant changes just continue to push the importance of staying up to date with all the updates that are constantly being released. The good news is that you’re already ahead of your competition – you are signed up for the #SEOForLunch. 🙂

Nick LeRoy
Nick LeRoy
Nick has 10+ years of SEO consulting experience building and executing strategies for clients ranging from multi-billion dollar consumer packaged goods to fashion entities with hundreds of physical store locations. He also writes the weekly SEO newsletter #SEOForLunch that allows you to stay up to date with industry updates in the amount of time it takes you to eat your lunch.

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