How The Google Pros & Cons Update Affects Product Review Sites

Google has updated its structured data documentation for Editorial Product Review web pages. There is now a new structured data pros and cons that makes sites eligible for improved search.

This change to Google’s structured data for product reviews may have a significant impact on product review websites.

Only editorial product review sites can have an improved listing in search results when using these new structured data properties.


Merchants are not eligible for improved pros and cons in search, nor are customer product review pages.

This means that this structured data update affects product review websites, including affiliate product review sites, which do not sell the products themselves, but focus on product reviews. .

What is Structured Data Advantages and Disadvantages?

Pros and cons structured data is used by Google to identify specific information in product reviews and display it in search results.

The structured data that Google uses for pros and cons is based on the positiveNotes and negativeNotes structured data properties.

What’s interesting about these structured data properties is that they’re not yet fully integrated into

According to the official page for these types of structured data:

“This term is proposed for full integration into, pending feedback on implementation and adoption by apps and websites. »

Eligible Languages ​​for Product Review Advantages and Disadvantages

Websites in the following ten languages ​​can be viewed with the new search enhancement:

  1. Dutch
  2. English
  3. French
  4. German
  5. Italian
  6. Japanese
  7. Polish
  8. Portuguese
  9. Spanish
  10. Turkish


Google has released new guidelines that, in addition to limiting eligibility for a pro/con enhancement in search, also state that at least two pro or con statements must be made.

This means that it can consist of a minimum of two pros, two cons, or one of each (one pro and one con).

According to the new documentation:

“Currently, only editorial product review pages are eligible for the appearance of pros and cons in search, not merchant product pages or customer product reviews.

There must be at least two product statements. It can be any combination of positive and/or negative statements (for example, ItemList markup with two positive statements is valid).

The pros and cons should be visible to users on the page.

Advantages and disadvantages Structured data is prioritized

Google noted that editorially-reviewed webpages that don’t use the new structured data may still be eligible for a search enhancement if Google can figure it out from the text of the webpage.

However, Google will prioritize editorial review pages with structured data.

The announcement stated the following:

“If you don’t provide structured data, Google may try to automatically identify the pros and cons listed on the web page.

Google will prioritize structured data provided by you over automatically extracted data.

Is it difficult to add new structured data?

If you are using a plugin, whoever maintains it should add the new structured data.

It shouldn’t be difficult if the plugin differentiates between reviews for editorial review sites and reviews in the context of a merchant.

What’s involved is limited to adding pros and cons to a product review and then adding the positiveNote and negativeNote structured data to the product review website.

If you’re adding the new pros and cons structured data, it’s fairly easy to simply add the positiveNote and/or negativeNote structured data properties to any existing product rating structured data.

Screenshot of positiveNote structured data

        "positiveNotes": {
            "@type": "ItemList",
            "itemListElement": [
                "@type": "ListItem",
                "position": 1,
                "name": "Consistent results"
                "@type": "ListItem",
                "position": 2,
                "name": "Still sharp after many uses"

Screenshot of negativeNote structured data

          "negativeNotes": {
            "@type": "ItemList",
            "itemListElement": [
                "@type": "ListItem",
                "position": 1,
                "name": "No child protection"
                "@type": "ListItem",
                "position": 2,
                "name": "Lacking advanced features"

List items in structured data

It is important to pay attention to the ListItem in structured data. The ListItem is a reference to the Pro or the Con.

Correct pros and cons of structured data will have at least two ListItem types in structured data.

This means that structured data can contain:

  • One for and one against
  • Or it may contain two advantages and no disadvantages
  • Or it may contain two disadvantages and no advantages

Important: Not for use with customer product reviews

This structured data is specifically for product review websites, aka product editorial review websites.

Google explicitly mentions that customer product reviews are not eligible.

While Google doesn’t explicitly say it shouldn’t be used with UGC product reviews, that’s probably what Google means.

Recently Updated Product Review Structured Data Impacts Publishers

The updated structured data will result in what Google calls improvements to search. This means that it will result in SERP snippets that can increase click-through rates.

Screenshot of the new Pros and Cons research snippet

Product review websites, what Google calls editorial product review websitesshould consider adding structured data pros and cons to their web pages in order to benefit from improvements in search.

It’s not necessary to do this, but it’s still good to get every advantage available in the way search snippets are displayed to maximize search traffic.


Read Google’s announcement

What’s New in Structured Data: Advantages and Disadvantages

Featured image by Shutterstock/Thapana_Studio

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