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I have a site with reviews / ratings. Now I have a lot of ratings to import from a gdocs survey and I need to update the total of aggregate ratings to include this new data.

Today I have, let's say, 500 reviews for the last year and tomorrow I will have 800. Google could penalize me for this suddenly increase of reviews?

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    What is the nature of these reviews? – MrWhite Oct 22 '18 at 20:13
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    I'd recommend integrating review functionality into the site directly, instead of using forms to collect them. In particular, it needs to be absolutely clear that you're not hand-picking "testimonials" rather than allowing users to review the products live. The number is not so much a problem as the method used to collect & show. – John Mueller Oct 23 '18 at 8:23
  • @JohnMueller I already have the functionality, the form replicate it and was just a starting point before the implementation. – anvd Oct 29 '18 at 10:44
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+50

Importing reviews into a website seems to be against Google's guidelines:

Sites must collect ratings information directly from users and not from other sites.

Review Guidelines for Local Businesses

However the wording is fuzzy here. Do they mean that (1) you need to collect reviews directly through your domain, or that (2) you can use external tools to collect reviews on behalf of your domain and then import them, just not steal reviews from other services? My hunch says the former.


That said, other SEO players in the industry are getting away with it as we speak, so it's likely that you can too. For example there's a service called TrustPilot that's one of the biggest in the industry, and they offer a review-to-structured-data import tool. My logic here is that since they are a trustworthy SEO company, they would not offer the service if it didn't work.

From TrustPilot:

If integrated correctly with schema.org rich snippets, the imported non-Trustpilot product reviews can have SEO benefits. Remember that duplicate content has a negative SEO effect. We recommend only showing individual reviews in one place.

So as long as the reviews you import are not duplicates from other parts of the internet, it could work out favorably for you. The worst that Google would probably do is just not show the review snippet. It seems very unlikely to me that they would levy a manual action, but it's not impossible.

...just don't hold me liable for what you end up doing!

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Im pretty sure sonner or latter Google will take action (not sure how Google acts on reviews and how are you exactly importing those reviews)

But lets take things from a logic prospective if you have a doc with reviews couldnt you manipulate them as well? is common for webmasters trying to add fake reviews.

I was in BrightionSEO this month and there was a guy who was talking about rich snippets he had implemented fake reviews (around 20 or so) and got a place in rich snippets which lasted 4 months, after google removed it without a penalty.

Your case is different this amount of reviews could be taken as spam fairly easy but yet it depends on how you will implement them.

Update: Google took action against bloggers who bough reviews on 2016. I would advice you not add them.

Apparently there is a report section as well: https://support.google.com/webmasters/contact/rich_snippets_spam

Good Luck

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