Google’s New Schema Guidelines Attempt to Keep Things PG

Google is constantly working towards making their services better for users. In their latest search engine tweak, they’ve made a small addition to their schema guidelines: No vulgar or profane language allowed in reviews.

Online reviews are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, over 75% of online users head to a third party review site before making a purchasing decision. Bad reviews can completely destroy one’s online reputation — and having profanity or vulgar speech in a review won’t help either, which is why the search engine giant has stated that they will remove these types of reviews from their rich snippets area if detected.

What is schema markup and what are rich snippets?

Schema markup is a bit of code that you put on your website that search engines will use in order to provide better answers for users. The markup is most commonly used for business contact information, or FAQ sections; though it can be used for any type of information that you deem would be useful for users if they are searching for something related to your company or industry. Schema markup is the information that shows up in Google’s rich snippets.

Rich snippets are the outlined boxes that appear at the top of your search results page. Searching in a question form (for example: “What was the Patriots vs Broncos score?”) will usually yield a rich snippet result.

What to do about the new guideline changes

It’s important to look through your website to determine where you’ve placed your schema markup code. If you placed it in your reviews section on your website, you’ll have to go through your reviews to make sure there is no profanity included. If there is, you need to remove those reviews from your site, or remove the markup code altogether.

If neither of these steps are taken, you run the risk of not showing up in the rich snippets. This can be detrimental to your site’s SEO because most users will click on the link that the rich snippet is associated with.

If you need help putting schema markup on your site or need to improve your online reputation, contact Boston Web Marketing today for full service SEO.

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