You will undoubtedly have noticed that when doing a search in Google that some results have little yellow stars next to their listings.
These stars look really cool and I would assume help click through rates.
Did you know though that these stars can be completely meaningless and can be created in minutes?
V1 SEO shows you just how much Google have messed up by allowing these stars to be displayed in their results.
There are numerous ways to get these stars showing with your listing, these instructions show you the semi-legitimate way of obtaining them.
- Create a Google Places listing (if you haven’t already)
- Ask 2 people who you know will give you a 5 star rating to write a review
- Wait until those reviews show with your Google Places listing (shouldn’t take any longer than 48 hours)
- Go to schema.org and copy the code for aggregaterating
- Add aggregaterating microdata code to your homepage saying you have a 5 star grade based on 2 reviews
- Wait until your page is indexed by Google again (throw a couple of links at it and write a blog post to boost this)
- Check the SERPs and within a couple of days (depending how often your site is crawled) you will have 5 nice gold star reviews next to your listing in Googles results.
It really is that simple to manipulate and shows what a mockery the Google Review system with Gold Stars is.
To be honest it is even easier and quicker than demonstrated here, unscrupulous webmasters can skip 1 to 3 and just say they have 5 stars based on howether many reviews they want to say.
Once more webmasters know how to do this will we see every listing in the Google top 10 with 5 stars next to them?
Come on Google stop showing these stars now it gives too much advantage to anyone who knows how to game the system.