Review Snippets for Category Listings Axed By Google
From ratings and reviews to products and offers to price and availability, rich snippets are a way for businesses to help their websites stand out in the crowded search engine result pages (SERPs), as they add extra information to a listing.
Google has long provided several rich snippets use cases for enterprises of all kinds (event-based, product-based, service-based, etc.), but has recently given additional guidance on using rich snippets, more specifically ratings and reviews. Google added the following usage guidelines and policies section:
"Review and rating markup should be used to provide review and/or rating information about a specific item, not about a category or a list of items. For example, “hotels in Madrid”, “summer dresses”, or “cake recipes” are not specific items."
When searching for "hotels in Madrid," the Trip Advisor listing shown below does have a rich snippet that includes stars and other summary info, but it's an ad. No organic listings for this search are offered the same luxury. (To zoom in, click the image.)
For SEOs, this means they can markup a specific item (e.g. Holiday Inn Madrid on a travel site), but not a category page (e.g. an article on 30 best Madrid hotels on a travel site).