These requirements apply to all reviews collected and displayed on partner sites, regardless of whether they are sent to Google. These updated requirements apply to reviews collected beginning July 2020.
Requirements for All Review Collection
- Merchants are not allowed to offer their customers financial incentives to write reviews of any kind.
- This includes but is not limited to free samples, gift cards, discounts on future purchases, or anything of monetary value.
- If a review provider discovers a merchant has offered incentives, these reviews should be removed from the feed and Google should be notified via this form.
- Users must complete their review within 90 days of receiving an invitation. If review editing is supported, reviews can be edited past the 90 days.
- All merchant ratings must be collected on a 1-5 or 1-10 scale.
- Only reviews directly collected by a review provider should be sent through the Google feed or displayed and factored into ratings on a review provider’s merchant page.
- Scraped or imported reviews from another review provider or directly collected by the merchant should never be sent through the Google feed or displayed and factored into ratings on the merchant page.
- Reviews collected on a merchant's site must be directly collected by the review provider and can not be collected by the merchant and then passed to the review provider.
- Review providers are not allowed to partner with other companies that collect reviews and display those reviews on their behalf.
- Each merchant eligible for seller ratings must have a page that is public, visible, and discoverable via search engines with all reviews shown. For example, the merchant pages should be included in the sitemap shared with search engines.
- Merchant pages and corresponding reviews should never be deleted after a merchant stops collecting reviews with a given review provider and the previous reviews should continue to be included in feeds to Google, except where reviews are deleted for content guideline violations or at a user's request. For example, if a merchant switches review providers, the original reviews provider should maintain a page with the reviews previously collected for that merchant and continue to submit those reviews in their feed to Google.
Fair Moderation Policies
- Merchants are not able to remove or moderate their reviews.
- Reviews may be flagged and will be removed only if the content contains hateful, violent, or inappropriate content, advertising or spam, is off-topic, or contains conflicts of interest.
- The review provider must have a set of requirements for removing user reviews and those requirements must be shared with Google via your Google point of contact for the reviews program or using this form.
- Reviewers have the ability to delete reviews at any time.
- When a user review is undergoing investigation, the review still must be sent through Google feeds.
- The fair moderation policies apply to all reviews, including solicited and unsolicited.