Product reviews vs Critic reviews and Google's Testing Tool bug

By Ilana Davis

One of the new additions from Google’s structured data update last week has been the addition of the review field to the product data.

This field has been causing a lot of confusion all week.

You might think that’s where product reviews should belong to but it’s not.

That field is meant to store data on a critic review for the product.

A critic review is where someone writes a review article about a business, book, or movie. They’d then give the thing a rating based on their review, which Google might show in the results.

Think Roger Ebert or a blogger reviewing a movie.

The key is that they are the website author writing a review on a 3rd party thing. It’s not something you’d have on your own products.

The interesting thing about the Warning is that Google’s guidelines don’t include products as being critic reviewable. Only local businesses, books, or movies.

That’s why I think this Warning in Google’s Testing Tool is a bug. It’s asking people to add data to a place that isn’t supposed to have it.

Even if it isn’t a bug, you’re not going to want to use it for your products.

You’d use the aggregateRating to get your product reviews into the Rich Results, which is what JSON-LD for SEO already does as part of its integrations.

This sort of deep-dive into Google’s changes is what JSON-LD for SEO customers get as part of their license.

I also handle changing the data to keep up with Google’s (and Bing and Yahoo and Facebook’s) rule changes.

If your current theme isn’t keeping up with these changes or you haven’t been able to upgrade it, using my app to handle this for you could be a worthwhile one-time investment.


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