Bizarre review schema implementation spotlights gaps between Google’s guidelines & how rich results really work
Google has made its review markup guidelines fairly clear and has even issued penalties to sites that utilize spammy or misleading structured data markup. But columnist Andrew Shotland points out that many sites are still violating these guidelines, intentionally or unintentionally
Review snippets, in which review stars appear next to your SERP listing, have long been among the most coveted rich results sought out by SEOs. Unfortunately, the pursuit of these review snippets over the years led to a lot of abuse — webmasters and SEOs would attempt to gain the rich result by implementing deceptive structured data on their web pages.
Eventually, Google started to crack down on structured data manipulation by issuing manual actions (i.e., penalties) in Google Search Console. Since then, we have seen a wide variety of problems with rating and review schema — many of which were quite unintentional.