Risks of adding product reviews to your Shopify collections

Recently a JSON-LD for SEO customer emailed me about advice he got from a friend who hired a SEO company.

To sum up a long story, that SEO company was telling stores to add review structured data to their collection pages that listed all of their product reviews. Basically, aggregate their reviews for all of their products so they can get a Rich Snippet for the collection pages.

Luckily my customer emailed me before he did it.

Google is crystal clear when it comes to product reviews on collections:

Don’t do it

If you do and Google catches you, you’ll be in violation of the Rich Snippet guidelines and possibly the webspam rules. The risks you’d be taking are:

  1. that page would lose its Rich Snippets,
  2. your entire site will lose its Rich Snippets,
  3. a manual action will be taken on your site for spammy structured data, reducing your ranking, or even
  4. a full site ban.

Yes you could do it, and I’ve seen stores doing this, but you’re playing Russian Roulette with Google and they know where all the bullets are.

Specifically I’ve seen two stores hurt by this. One lost all of their Rich Snippets and the second had a manual action against their domain.

Both knew what they were doing and got caught.

This is why JSON-LD for SEO doesn’t touch reviews on the collection page at all. I know some review apps have features for aggregating product reviews, but you’re taking on a risk by using those features.

Store reviews are a similar gray area. They aren’t explicitly forbidden by Google but most of the review apps I’ve seen are a bit overzealous with them which I think could be a risk if Google reviews your site.

When you have proper structured data and follow the guidelines, it can be an easy SEO option for more and higher quality traffic.

You just have to stay within the rules and only take advice from people who have long-term experience with it.

JSON-LD for SEO is the easiest and safest option in the Shopify app store to automatically add that data.

Already trusted by over two thousand stores, it’s among the top SEO apps overall.

Eric Davis

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