Wondering where your review stars have gone in the search results? Google continues to further reduce the number of search results showing review stars in the organic search results.
On February 22, Google began to drop the number of review stars in the search results significantly. The first day we saw a drop by 14.5%, with another 12% drop the next day. Every day since then, Google has continued to reduce the visibility of review stars.
Overall, Google has dropped review stars from showing on an average of 34% of the search results of the keywords Mozcast is tracking, down to 22.9% of results, where it is sitting now.
This change continues to hit all publishers equally. While there was speculation by some that Yelp lost all of their stars, they still do have some star results showing up. So it seems to be a blanket reduction across the board.
This also means that for sites that want to show rich snippets, they need to ensure the highest quality possible of those pages, especially when compared to other search results on the page. It seems that Google is only showing one listing with review stars (outside of AdWords and local 3-pack results).
While many were hoping that the reduction of review stars were temporary, it is definitely seeming less likely that this is the case. That said, results were starting to look a bit cluttered when there would be multiple organic search results with stars displayed, along with stars showing up in AdWords, PLAs and local 3-packs. So for those who have stars still the CTR should be even better than it was previously.
There is also the added bonus for those sites that did not have stars before, yet were in the search results with many competitors who did. Those sites are seeing significant CTR increases now that multiple sites with eye catching stars no longer have them.
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