Structured data abuse

> Don't abuse rich snippets

Updated: December 1st 2015

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"Avoid abusing rich snippets."

- from the Google webmaster guidelines 1

What are rich snippets?

  • Rich snippets are a way to change the way your webpage information is displayed in Google results.

The review rich snippet is probably the most commonly seen rich snippet. It is how the stars get into some search results.

There are several different rich snippets available like breadcrumbs, events, author, videos, ratings and reviews, etc.

The folly of abusing rich snippets

misleading markup and content

Rich snippets are by their very nature machine readable. This means misleading snippets are easily detectable by Googlebot. This is why rich snippets should accurately describe the content of the page they are referring to.

Untruthful or misleading markup or content

Posting fake reviews or falsifying info like fake ratings will get you penalized by Google. Using markup like rich snippets with such false information is a quick way to get penalized by Google.

Things Google has explicitly stated are considered abuse

  • Marking up content that is in no way visible to users.
  • Marking up irrelevant or misleading content, such as fake reviews or content unrelated to the focus of a page.

Key concept

  • Rich snippet information should be accurate and must not mislead users.

Patrick Sexton by