The Google Knowledge Panel will not only feature your Google reviews, but as of September 2016, it now displays your review ratings from up to three other review sites in a section of the Knowledge panel called “Reviews from the web”.
This is not to be confused with review syndication. Google is not displaying your individual reviews and content, but rather the name of the review site, how many reviews you have, and the aggregate rating. It looks like this in the Knowledge Panel:
Clicking on the name of the review site (i.e. Facebook, Real Word of Mouth, or Foursquare in the above example) will take online visitors to your reviews.
Real Word of Mouth In. Yelp and TripAdvisor Out.
Not every review site will make it into the Knowledge Panel. Real Word of Mouth is in the Knowledge Panel. So is Facebook, Foursquare, and others.
Some major review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor feel Google is a competitor for online reviews, and choose to not let their reviews appear in the Google Knowledge Panel. This is unfortunate for small businesses who invest in building their reviews on Yelp or TripAdvisor. This also doesn’t come as a big surprise, as neither Yelp nor TripAdvisor are particularly friendly to small business owners.
On the other hand, Real Word of Mouth sees this as a win-win for business owners and for consumers alike, and we enthusiastically support this new SEO opportunity from Google.
Here’s a full screen shot of a Google Search Engine Result Page (SERP) including the Knowledge Panel. The search results are on the left half of the Google SERP, and the Knowledge Panel is on the right half.
You’ll notice that listings for reviews on both Yelp and Real Word of Mouth appear in the search results on the left half, but only reviews from Real Word of Mouth appear in the Google Knowledge Panel on the right.
Always on the First Page of Google Search
If your reviews are in the Google Knowledge Panel, they will always be on the first page of Google Search whenever your Google Knowledge Panel appears.
In the example below, neither the Real Word of Mouth or Foursquare reviews are on the first page of the Google search results, but they do appear in the Google Knowledge Panel.
Although this business has great Yelp reviews, the Yelp reviews do not appear in the Google Knowledge Panel.
Get your reviews in your Google Knowledge Panel
By now, you should be convinced that having your online reviews in your Google Knowledge Panel is a good thing. The good news, is that it’s not too difficult.
- Choose review sites like Real Word of Mouth that support review snippet markup. Some ways to determine if the review site indeed supports review snippet markup:
- Do your reviews appear in Google search results with “stars” (ratings) in the Google listing? If so, then the site probably has proper review snippet markup.
- You don’t see the review site in Google search results? Then paste the URL for your review profile into the Google Structured Data Testing Tool to see if the “stars” will appear in the simulated listing.
- The review sites need to conform to Google’s Review Snippet Guidelines. If the reviews appear in Google search results with “stars” (ratings), the site probably also conforms to Google’s guidelines.
- Make sure your business name, address and phone that is displayed on your reviews exactly matches the business name, address and phone that is displayed in your Google Knowledge Panel, otherwise Google won’t be able to match your online reviews to your Google Knowledge Panel.
Don’t have a Google Knowledge Panel yet?
Keep an eye out for our post on how to get a Google Knowledge Panel.