In early June 2021, Google rolled out the June 2021 Google Core Algorithm Update. As with many of Google’s core updates, some sites regained review snippets in search results.
This has been repeatedly documented on this blog with my coverage of the algorithm updates.
It’s a Mistake. Enjoy Them While They Last.
Nicknamed “Starmageddon” by some of us in the SEO niche, Google announced the end of reviews in search results, aka “Review Rich Results” as they call them. Obviously, businesses and websites showing these stars in search were hand selecting review counts and rating averages to display. Google correctly called this “self-serving” and took the reviews away.
Review Stars Increase Click Through Rates.
I work with several personal injury lawyers, and what I love about displaying review stars in search results is in the increased Click Through Rate (CTR). I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but when your pages are displaying review stars, you’ll get 15%-25% more clicks, especially when competitors are not displaying them.
Here’s an example of Review Rich Results displaying in search results in July 2021:
Correctly Diagnosing Increased Traffic After a Core Algorithm Update.
Unless you’re infatuated with traffic and user behavior and have access to hundreds of sites (like myself) it’s easy to log in to Google Search Console or Google Analytics, see some increased traffic and think that it’s caused by a ranking position, a featured snippet, an algorithm change or even a title or meta description change.
This has happened with multiple clients of ours with the June Core Algorithm change. I have multiple clients who saw a sudden uptick with the update, and I had to be the bearer of bad news… That traffic will be brought back down again soon. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.
Google is already aware of the review snippet issue and working on a fix to prevent them from displaying. Expect them to remove them again in the near future, either in a sole update focused on the stars or with the next Core update.