Getting your reviews in Google Shopping and Google Search
Showing your reviews on Google is one of the best ways to highlight your Shopify products in search results.
It can be challenging though to get those reviews to show up in Google Shopping and Google Search. That's because they are two totally different processes.
Keep in mind that the following only qualifies you to show reviews in Google. They do not guarantee reviews will actually appear.
Adding Schema.org structured data to your Shopify website can help you qualify for Review Rich Snippets. An organic search result with review markup may look something like this:
There are two types of review markup that may be used, review and aggregateRating. For Shopify stores, you only want to use aggregateRating. The review field is an optional field that doesn't apply to Shopify products. It's for editorial or critic reviews where someone writes a review article about a business, book, or movie. Think of a blogger reviewing a product that was sent to them, not customers leaving reviews for the products they paid for. It's not something you'd have on your own products.
I have a short video explaining the difference between review and aggregateRating and why we don't use the review field if you're interested.
Some review apps and themes attempt to include the aggregateRating for your products. But there are a few things to be on the lookout for.
- The aggregateRating markup should be fully "linked" with your product structured data. If it's not, that means you may get your reviews into search results OR the product price and availability. It's much harder to get all these when they are not linked together.
- There should be no critical issues or errors in the Rich Results Testing Tool or Search Console. Critical issues means Google will ignore the entire set of data because it is invalid.
- The review markup is not used. Again, this is an optional field and using it could cause you to get different or unfavorable results.
Make sure you're also following Google's Guidelines for reviews in search results. Not following Google's requirements could put the store at risk of a manual action. So be careful when adding review structured data to your store if you aren't familiar with the rules.
Reviews in Google Ads are a different process from reviews in organic search results. Structured data for reviews can only help you qualify for Review Rich Results, they have no impact on Google Shopping.
A shopping ad result with reviews may look something like this:
The Merchant Center's docs on product reviews outline the requirements to get your Shopify reviews in Google Shopping.
- Unlike Rich Results, to get reviews into Google Shopping, you need at least 50 reviews across all your products.
- When evaluating review providers, make sure they are on the approved list of review aggregators. Approved review providers will send reviews to Merchant Center for your Google Shopping ads.
- You can submit your own product review feed but you'll need to apply via their Product Ratings Interest form. As an example, Shopify Product Reviews is a free app that many Shopify stores use, but they are not on the approved list. That means you have to find a different way to get your reviews to Merchant Center.
The crossover between paid and organic results in Google Shopping
There is a connection between Google Search and Google Shopping even though the two platforms don't actually talk to each other.
Merchant Center (paid side) will check your landing pages (organic side) to make sure they are legit and match the data from the data feed.
One part of that matching is checking the structured data for the product price, availability, URL, product condition, and product identifiers (SKU, MPN, GTIN).
Notice that reviews aren't included in that list, but I wouldn't be surprised if Google made this an option in the future.
That's why having a quality structured data app is so important to your paid ads efforts. If you're struggling with Merchant Center, contact me to get your free structured data audit to see if JSON-LD for SEO can help. Make sure you share as much details about the issues you're running into.