I have a client who had implemented schema incorrectly and received a notice from Google that they needed to fix it “if you would like it featured in Google search results”. Of course they didn’t provide any specifics and Schema.org documentation is often confusing:

Then I noticed this very helpful review of Wisconsin Health Insurance, because so many people, well at least 2, are reviewing Wisconsin Health Insurance, which is actually not anything…except a valuable keyword of course:
Rich Snippet SPAM

And if you look at the URL in Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool, er, I mean the Structured Data Testing Tool, you see that it employs hreview-Aggregate markup:


And if you look on the URL, you’ll see a sentence about these ratings nicely tucked away on the right hand side of the page, where it’s sure to be really really helpful to users:



A few weeks ago Google did away with author images in the SERPs “to make the experience better” or some such thing. And while the message Google sent to my client shows it is clearly trying to clean up the schema SPAM, I have seen way too much of this crap in the SERPs.

I vote for getting rid of all of it.

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5 Response Comments

  • Mike Wilton  July 18, 2014 at 9:05 am

    I agree to an extent, however I definitely feel Google should still take schema into account when it comes to understanding entities and context of content. That said, I do find review stars useful, especially when I do recipe searches in Google, so I don’t know if I want rich snippets to disappear completely.

  • Andrew Shotland  July 18, 2014 at 10:12 am

    It’s not that they aren’t useful. It’s that as in the case above, they can’t be trusted.

  • Angela  July 18, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    You know what I find really strange? I have implemented schema on the contact page of our website. I used the testing tool to make sure that the schema that I created was correct. Google said that it was perfect. I uploaded it onto the website, and used the testing tool to make sure that it was implemented correctly.

    Guess what? There were errors based on what was copied and pasted directly. Guess their HTML testing tool doesn’t work either!

  • Springboard SEO  July 19, 2014 at 5:17 am

    I think the problem is that they’re trying to push schema too far too fast. Sort of the opposite of what was happening with RDFs.

  • John Crenshaw  July 19, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Wow I rarely see that kind of schema review spam in SERPs anymore – at least not that I’ve noticed. Wonder if the domain authority is a factor.