Google’s current algorithm tends to favor sites with reviews, especially sites with review data that have the proper markup. However, for many small sites or sites that are concerned about the problems associated with user generated reviews, this can present a problem. One way to get around this problem is to create reviews from one expert author and publish that review with the proper XML markup.
I’m not saying reviews aren’t a good thing, but if you are a small or “lean” organization, the resources dedicated to moderating, filtering out shills, or dealing with bad spelling & grammar can make users reviews a bigger problem than comments. So the problem is how to give Google the review data it wants without any of the downside. The single author review is currently the best way to get from here to there. If you’ve never seen single author reviews in the SERPs, here’s an example from Oyster Travel.
You can see an example of how this review integrates above and to the right. This is the default integration in the free version. On the backend, the review is entered on the standard post page and looks like this
The program is available in three versions: free, $69 for one site, and $139 for multi site. IMHO the pricing for one site is a bit on pricey side, but I suspect that’s really just a bit of pricing psychology at work to make the multi-site option look like a better deal. But I digress. The multi-site version does seem like a good deal; however, it only covers 6 months of support/upgrades. If you want support/upgrades after that, it’s $29 every 6 months. IMHO this is kinda uncool. I fully support devs getting paid for their work, but the ongoing support subscription is not something I’m a fan of.
There are some extra features in the Pro version like:
- Sidebar Widgets
- Related Reviews Shortcode
- Rating Box Shortcode
- Rating Box Templates
- After Posts Rating Box
- Custom Post Types Support
- NoFollow – Dofollow links
I like this plugin a lot, and I appreciate the problem it solves, but I’ve got a hard time justifying the ongoing expense. So if you would like to add reviews I’d suggest trying it out. If you find yourself needing the extra features, then upgrade to the paid version.