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GoodRelations - The Web Vocabulary for E-Commerce

This is the archive of the goodrelations dicussion list

GoodRelations is a standardized vocabulary for product, price, and company data that can (1) be embedded into existing static and dynamic Web pages and that (2) can be processed by other computers. This increases the visibility of your products and services in the latest generation of search engines, recommender systems, and other novel applications.

[goodrelations] Important change in review markup for Google Rich Snippets

Martin Hepp martin.hepp at ebusiness-unibw.org
Sun Sep 16 12:20:36 CEST 2012

Dear all:

We found out that there is a popular pitfall that might make Google not show stars for reviews in the rich snippets for your page.

The reason is that there are now two properties for indicating the numbers of reviews / ratings for


The first property is

    http://rdf.data-vocabulary.org/#count ("The total number of reviews for the item on your site.")

The second is 

    http://rdf.data-vocabulary.org/#votes ("Specifies the number of people who provided a rating with or without an accompanying review.")

Now, historically, we always recommended to use v:count. However, recently Google added a tiny note

    "Note: Whenever you include count, the page must also contain review markup for each reviewed item."

This means that you can only use v:count if 

1. all people who rated the product have also left a textual comment for their rating 
2. you have review markup also on each individual review item so that Google can access it in textual form.

There are the following important consequences:

1. Replace v:count by v:votes in your review markup, unless you can guarantee that conditions #1 and #2 from above are met for *all your product item pages*. This is rarely the case in a shop.
2. If you can, expose the detailed reviews using respective markup, too. We suspect that if Google has easy access to your textual reviews, they trust the data to a much higher degree, since numeric data is easy to fake in an automated fashion.

An important consequence of this change is that the text 

    "123 reviews"

with "123" being the number of ratings will disappear from the rich snippet shown in the Google testing tool. So instead of

***** 89 reviews - $899.00 - In stock

it will show

***** $899.00 - In stock

I attach two illustrations to show the difference.

However, Google will, in our experience, no longer show any stars if you use v:count while not providing markup for the individual reviews. Do not trust the Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool in that respect; it will still tolerate both (this is a bug in the tool that we already reported back to Google).
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We have just updated


accordingly. Other usages of reviews in the documentation may still show the old pattern.

Best wishes

Martin Hepp

martin hepp
e-business & web science research group
universitaet der bundeswehr muenchen

e-mail:  hepp at ebusiness-unibw.org
phone:   +49-(0)89-6004-4217
fax:     +49-(0)89-6004-4620
www:     http://www.unibw.de/ebusiness/ (group)
         http://www.heppnetz.de/ (personal)
skype:   mfhepp 
twitter: mfhepp

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* Project Main Page: http://purl.org/goodrelations/

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