It has been a few months already that star ratings are disappearing in SERPs. It will be very difficult to get them back in product reviews. Read more below.
There is a term Schemapocalypse introduced by some to describe the current situation. Some also describe it as Starmageddon. No matter which term you prefer, they describe the situation nicely.
Why star ratings worked in the past & what is happening now
I have had star ratings in posts (and in Google rich snippets) for several years already. I have been using WP Review plugin (free version) and star ratings were always in SERPs.
But after Google’s latest Schema update, there are no ‘Article’ and ‘Thing’ options that were used by the plugin in the past. Now the star rating plugins are modified to satisfy this new Google algorithm and you have to choose ‘Product’ if you are writing a review article. This is where the problems start.
Namely, this option now implies that you have to fill in numerous details and data about the product you are reviewing. If you miss doing this, you will have errors in Search Console. The picture below shows one possible example.
It is practically impossible to add all those details that are required. There are some like ‘price’, ‘price valid until’, and a few more where you cannot add anything, such things change all the time.
You can test this if you go to the Google structured data testing tool and add your post’s URL for testing. Note however that these are usually only warnings and the post will still be indexed.
Is there a solution?
The answer is no, at least as far as I know. It will be great to hear from you if you have anything that would help.
Here is what I have tried
After asking a few times at Wealthy Affiliate where I am a member and host sites, I did not receive any answer at all.
- I tried with WP Review Pro plugin. This was after asking if they can guarantee that the stars will be back in SERPs. They said yes they will be back. Well, they are not back. After asking again, I got a reply that it would be very difficult to get them back.
- I am now using WP Product Review (Lite) free plugin in several sites, and it brings star ratings in SERPs in a few hours. But there is the mentioned problem with errors. So if you do the same, you will be receiving e-mail warnings from Google about errors. You can ignore them, but this is annoying indeed.
So the difference between the two plugins is the following:
- The WP Review Pro will not bring stars in SERPs back, and you will still have all the errors. Try in the mentioned Google rich snippet testing tool and you will realize this. So if you plan to order it to solve the problem, as I did, you will be wasting your money. Better forget.
- With the WP Product Review Lite, you will definitely have the stars back in SERPs, but there will be errors/warnings in Search Console related to rich snippets. I cannot know if this will have negative effects in the long run, and have no idea if the stars will indeed remain in SERPs.
There are many more plugins out there, after inspecting some of them I see that they all have the same or similar Schema boxes that must be filled. For example, Taqyeem plugin will also have stars in SERPs but it causes the same errors.
I know for sure that even if Search Console does not report errors, the mentioned Google Structured Data Testing Tool will show them. So it does not matter if the plugin is able to restore the star ratings in SERPs or not, this will result in errors. This is my current understanding.
I am writing this text so that you avoid spending money on plugins that will not work, and because I myself need a solution to the problem. Let me know if you are aware of any tool, there is a comment box below. Thanks for reading.