Who owns the content in reviews customers leave on Google? And can you share those valuable kudos on your website or social pages so others can see how much a homeowner appreciated your services?
The short answer is that you can pull from valuable user-generated Google review content for home improvement marketing efforts. But you do need to follow a few rules.
Google Gives Go Ahead for Sharing Review Content
Someone asked Google’s John Mueller on Twitter if copying and pasting review text from SERPs or GMB to websites was kosher. Mueller’s Sept. 4, 2018 tweet indicated that there wasn’t a problem with it as long as sites weren’t using structured markup on the content.
In short, that means you can post the copy on your site, but you can’t use schema or other code to identify it as review content for search engine bots.
Other Best Practices to Follow When Sharing Reviews
In most cases, the consumer owns the rights to their review, so you have to attribute it properly. You can do so by using quotes around the content you share and attributing it to “Joe S.” or “Amy G.” or “a Google reviewer,” depending on how the person identified themselves when leaving the review.
Other tips for sharing reviews:
- Don’t change what the review said. You can quote only part of it or shorten it by taking out pieces, but make sure you don’t alter the meaning and tone of the review. That would be dishonest, and people can easily find the original.
- Be creative. Don’t just copy blocks of review text onto your website. Instead, choose some of the best home improvement review content and share it in callouts, graphics, and text boxes to call attention to it.
- Share reviews on social. Create graphics with short bits of review content for sharing on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
- Be careful when sharing reviews from other sites. While Mueller tweeted the okay to share Google reviews, sites such as Yelp are less generous. Read the review site’s TOS before sharing, because some don’t allow it at all while others limit it to noncommercial purposes.