According to Mike Blumenthal, Google has updated their local reviews guidelines regarding when schema markup on reviews can be used.
Please see below for the new guideline:
- Snippets can only be written by the content provider or business if they are genuine and unpaid reviews.
- Customers must be able to write both positive and negative reviews.
- You can not generate reviews using a template.
- Reviews for multi-location businesses can only be submitted for the specific business location.
- You can not have commercial agreements with businesses to gain more positive reviews.
- Only post reviews that are directly from your site; no reviews from third parties.
The major change is that third-party reviews that are not directly from your website should not include schema. While this is the greatest change, it’s important to read the guidelines thoroughly. If you’ve already implemented local reviews markup, your website could be impacted.