The risks of adding review stars to your Shopify store homepage

A subscriber was asking about how to get review stars on the homepage for a Shopify store.

Google guidelines around reviews are extremely strict and they take them very seriously. Many websites have abused them in the past and starting in 2018 Google started to crack down on them hard.

For Shopify stores it’s near impossible to get review stars on the homepage because for that to happen you’d have to dedicate your homepage to selling one and only one product. A few customers have done that but they had to really customize Shopify to get that to work and they have to make sure to follow all of Google’s guidelines.

Usually when a domain has reviews on their homepage they’re either:

  1. classifying the reviews as business reviews which is a very gray area with Google right now, or
  2. using a loophole in Google by counting product reviews as business reviews and aggregating product reviews.

It is very hard to get #1 to work and I’ve seen manual actions taken on sites that abuse it. Manual actions are when an actual person reviews the website and makes a decision.

Here’s Google’s manual action warning on reviews and details about manual actions.

Google's manual action warning

Basically manual actions are really bad. Official Google Penalty bad.

Like I said above, Google takes reviews very seriously because reviews have been abused.

And if a domain is doing #2, it’s just a matter of time before they get caught and penalized.

Because of the level of risks with this, many review apps stopped supporting business reviews or embedding review structured data on the homepage.

This is also why JSON-LD for SEO doesn’t integrate or support any of these types of reviews. It’s too risky and can jeopardize your search results.

With all the doom and gloom done with, let’s end on a happy note.

If you do collect product reviews, JSON-LD for SEO has integrations with 19 different product review apps and it uses them to safely add your product review data to your product’s search result pages. That’s the correct way to handle reviews and fully endorsed by Google.

That can end up being a nice traffic and conversions boost to your organic search traffic.

Eric Davis

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