When searching Google have you ever noticed a box with information show up in the results? That’s called a Knowledge Panel, and it contains all kinds of useful information.
Google added a new section to this panel called “Reviews from the web” last week. That makes it even easier for users to find relevant reviews from multiple sources.
Ronnie Falcon a product manager at Google explains “Reviews from the web” on Google’s webmaster blog:
Google’s official explanation of the new feature.
Available globally on mobile and desktop, Reviews from the web brings aggregated user ratings of up to three review sites to Knowledge Panels for local places across many verticals including shops, restaurants, parks and more.
The Google article does a good job explaining what the new feature is, but doesn’t go into specifics. How does Google determine which review sites to display to the user?
We don’t know much yet, but according to Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land. Google has stated that the order of reviews is determined by relevance.
Order of “Reviews of the web” determined by relevance.
The order will be determined by “relevance” Google told me. Reviews from the web will appear across numerous local verticals, according to Google.
Even though we don’t know for sure how review sites are chosen. We’re assuming they use an algorithm like the one used for normal search engine results.
The panels, for the most part, remain the same appearance wise. The only difference being the “Reviews of the web” section. We outlined the new section in the image below.
Of course the mobile version has some minor differences, but is mostly the same.
Image courtesy of Google
As you can see, this is prime real estate for third party review websites. If you manage to become one of the three shown it would surely mean a boost in organic visits.
Want your website to be eligible for this prime real estate? You need to start by using review snippet markup on your site, and be following the review snippet guidelines. It’s also recommended you use local business markup to help Google match reviews.
Google pushed a similar update last month called “Critic reviews.”
“Critic reviews” adds snippets of, well, critic reviews to the panel. This update was met with criticism by review giants like Yelp, and Tripadvisor.
The CEO of Yelp, Jeremy Stoppelman Tweeted:
Google monopolist not satisfied with above the fold they’ve now claimed “page 2” cc @kaufer #byeorganic pic.twitter.com/qGXmt2Z5K5
— Jeremy Stoppelman (@jeremys) August 5, 2016
Jeremy Stoppelman believes Google is using these updates to push down competitors review websites. In favor for its own review website “Zagat.”
From our understanding websites like Yelp were not specifically excluded from “Critic reviews.” They just didn’t have the required markup mentioned earlier. Any review website can ask for inclusion as long as they follow the markup and guideline rules.
That pretty much covers Google’s newest Knowledge Panel update. Keep your eyes open, Google may have something else in the works.
Follow Logic Inbound on Twitter to stay up to date with all major Google changes, we’ll be writing about more soon.