Let Google Display your Product Reviews with Stars in Its SERPs

Hello Readers

hReview and RDF Rich snippet

As some of you have came across sites to which search engines are showing their product reviews in its SERPs showing average user ratings to their products crafting entire website description as if it meant for that product only. And, if you actually visit that website source and read the original website description then it is entirely different then that appears in search engines index.

Wondered why search engines are ever interseted in some merchant product views and how you can make search engines to do the same for your products too? Here comes the concept of semantic tagging. Tags or properties which don’t affect site structures but serve as Macro code for manipulating search engines behavior as desired by you.

SEO Gains to Reviews

Optimizing your website to show snippets from your webpage in Google SERPs in response to user query increases the evens that user visits your website resulting increase in CTR and that is what we like to achieve. Whats better than user feeling lucky finding results most promising to his/her query.

Files on the Semantic Web need to be able to express information flexibly. Life can’t be neatly packed into tables, as in relational databases, or hierarchies, as in XML. The information about movies and TV shows contained in the graph below is really best expressed as a graph

Web Semantics Explained

— An Excerpt from  http://www.rdfabout.com/intro/

Getting Started with Adding Reviews to Website

In major there are two alternative specifications available for embedding reviews in your website that are readable by search Engines.

Microformats hReview Schema
RDF Review Snippet

Microformats hReview Schema

 
hReview is a simple, open, distributed format, suitable for embedding reviews (of products, services, businesses, events, etc.) in HTML, XHTML, Atom, RSS, and arbitrary XML. hReview is one of several Microformats open standards.

The normal presentational view of review you commonly add in your webpage:

<div>
 <span>5 stars out of 5 stars</span>
 <h4>Crepes on Cole is awesome</h4>
 <span>Reviewer: <span>Tantek</span> - April 18, 2005</span>
 <blockquote><p>
 Crepes on Cole is one of the best little creperies in San Francisco. 
 Excellent food and service. Plenty of tables in a variety of sizes 
 for parties large and small. Window seating makes for excellent 
 people watching to/from the N-Judah which stops right outside. 
 I've had many fun social gatherings here, as well as gotten 
 plenty of work done thanks to neighborhood WiFi.
 </p></blockquote>
 <p>Visit date: <span>April 2005</span></p>
 <p>Food eaten: <span>Florentine crepe</span></p>
</div>

To make it an hReview simply add some classes or properties known to Microformat standards and thus by search engines (standard)

<div class="hreview">
 <span><spanclass="rating">5</span> out of 5 stars</span>
 <h4class="summary">Crepes on Cole is awesome</h4>
 <spanclass="reviewer vcard">Reviewer: <spanclass="fn">Tantek</span> - 
 <abbrclass="dtreviewed"title="2005-04-18">April 18, 2005</abbr></span>
 <divclass="description item vcard"><p>
 <spanclass="fn org">Crepes on Cole</span> is one of the best little 
 creperies in <spanclass="adr"><spanclass="locality">San Francisco</span></span>.
 Excellent food and service. Plenty of tables in a variety of sizes 
 for parties large and small. Window seating makes for excellent 
 people watching to/from the N-Judah which stops right outside. 
 I've had many fun social gatherings here, as well as gotten 
 plenty of work done thanks to neighborhood WiFi.
 </p></div>
 <p>Visit date: <span>April 2005</span></p>
 <p>Food eaten: <span>Florentine crepe</span></p>
</div> 

You don’t need to write any CSS or code to make these classses working as those are enlisted in standards to semantic web which make computers transparent to your content too apart structures

Well; its an example you don’t need to fall into ad-hoc ruckuses. Automated web applications are there and the one by which you can quickly generate hReviews and embed in your website is: http://microformats.org/code/hreview/creator

For more technical details on hReview and aggregate hReview visit: http://microformats.org/wiki/hreview

RDF Rich Text Review Snippet

Another way to add review semantics to your HTML code is through RDF (Resource Description Format) and is called rich snippet in RDF terminology as it is rich enough to provide information to machines.

RDF leverages various data vocabularies available on web as distributed databases for adding its semantics to your tags. You need to reference these vocabularies from within your webpages to allow reading your tags in semantic form

The primary vocabulary being is schema.org which holds comprehensive semantic tagging examples which you refer and employ on your web pages. Other more simple vocabularies are available and one I recommend for easy use is data-vocabulary.org

Here is the example:

The HTML presentational review without rich snippets is like this

<div>
L’Amourita Pizza
Reviewed by Ulysses Grant on Jan 6.
Delicious, tasty pizza on Eastlake!
L'Amourita serves up traditional wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza, 
brought to your table promptly and without fuss. An ideal neighborhood pizza joint.
Rating: 4.5
</div>

Meshing it with rich -snippets so that it could be understandable to machines it becomes

<div>
 <div itemscope itemtype="http://data-vocabulary.org/Review">
 <span itemprop="itemreviewed">L’Amourita Pizza</span>
 Reviewed by <span itemprop="reviewer">Ulysses Grant</span> on
 <time itemprop="dtreviewed" datetime="2009-01-06">Jan 6</time>.
 <span itemprop="summary">Delicious, tasty pizza in Eastlake!</span>
 <span itemprop="description">L'Amourita serves up traditional wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza, 
 brought to your table promptly and without fuss. An ideal neighborhood pizza joint.</span>
 Rating: <span itemprop="rating">4.5</span>
 </div>
</div>

Now the next time search engine crawls your page it knows what all the above tag is for and make it displayed in search results everytime user queries in context of buzz he/she like to know about some product or service in market.

For those who have WordPress or any CMS setup for their websites can leverage to third-party WordPress plugins for reviews. The one I am using is GD Start Rating  plugin which is free and easily available finding on Google.

Moral

Web is just incomplete if it is constrained to its structures, its web semantics which makes knowledge sharing possible

More to come. Stay tuned to www.seoclick.com

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