TLDR: After migrating domains from salonspy.co.uk to salonspy.com it took precisely 79 days for Review Rich Results to be restored in Google’s SERPs.
Alongside other eye-catching Rich Results in the SERPs, reviews are one of the most effective ways to improve click-through-rates on your otherwise generic results. Back in Sept 2019 – Google tightened their belt on the types of content eligible for Review Rich Results, which prevented companies from effectively ‘self-serving’ their own curated or even made-up reviews. Alongside these new restrictions, Google went one-step further in also blocking Review Rich Results when embedding third-party review widgets such as Trustpilot and Reviews.io.
Review Rich Results for the past three years have been the exclusive preserve of websites actually offering independent reviews of anything from local businesses to books, movies and recipes.
Preparing to lose Review Snippets when changing domain names
Long-term partners of StrategiQ, salonspy.com is an independent, verified, review and reputation platform for salons and spas that have been leveraging Review Rich Results for the past five years. Salonspy made a tactical change of domain names in the summer of 2022 in order to consolidate its international platforms onto a new single website as part of their global growth strategy. Development partner Simon Thompson (of Spark Theory) and I worked closely together to execute the Technical SEO migration of the domain, with the primary goal to re-establish the prized review snippets for salonspy. Here’s an example desktop SERP result for a salon listing that scores both in Review Rich Results and an aggregated ‘Reviews from the web’ score within the Google Business Profile:
Alongside migrating the UK website to the new salonspy.com domain, the migration also included the redirection and consolidation of the Australian and Irish counterparts of the review platform.
Key SEO migration checklist that was used for the consolidation
- Highly tested, catch-all 301 Redirects of all URLs to their correct .com counterparts
- Meticulous validation of all reviews schema mark-up
- Improved indexation by removing thin salon profiles and showing more reviews per page (cutting down on pagination)
- Google Search Console – Change of Address process for the UK, Australian and Irish domains
- Prompt submission of validated XML Sitemaps for the newly consolidated site
There were of course, various other technical aspects to the migration – but there’s no guarantee or guidance on when (or even if) the Rich Results would be restored; I just knew that they wouldn’t be immediately available post migration to the new domain name.
79 days since launch, Review Rich Results were restored in full
When the founder and MD of salonspy asked me how long it would take to recover the rich snippets, in my mind I thought “I really have no idea.” But, wanting to set expectations and remain resolute around the consolidation strategy, I opted to guesstimate three months.
This example is just one isolated case study that demonstrates that valuable Review Rich Snippets can be swiftly recovered following a technically sound SEO-focused migration. It’s risky, nothing is guaranteed, bestowing Rich Results appears to be algorithmic – however, watching the Review Rich Results return after 79 days was an anticipated part of the wider marketing and business strategy.