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This is possible because of Schema markup. Schema markup is used to better convey to search engines what a certain post or page is about. Text and images can only help them so much. But you can use Schema markup to help tell Google and other search engines exactly what’s happening on that page.
One small part of Schema is the ability to convey to Google that your post is a review with arating associated with it. This enables Google to then display the star rating.
Here’s what the basic format has to look like:
<div itemprop="review" itemscope itemtype="">
 <meta itemprop="author" content="Ashley">
 <strong itemprop="itemreviewed">Sweet Peril</strong> by <a href="">Wendy Higgins</a><br />
 Other book info can go in here...
 <strong>My Rating:</strong> <span itemprop="reviewRating" itemscope itemtype=""><img src="" alt="3 Stars" class="stars" /><meta itemprop="ratingValue" content="3" /><meta itemprop="bestRating" content="5" /></span>

Your review can go down here...
So let’s break this down. There are five required fields:
  • The overall declaration of a “Review”.
  • The name of the person writing the review.
  • The name of the item being reviewed.
  • Your numerical rating.
  • The maximum/best numerical rating.
You have to wrap all your book information in a “review”, as designated by Schema. That’s what the itemprop="review" itemscope itemtype="" business is all about.
Then, you have to designate a reviewer. You can put this in meta tags like this: <meta itemprop="author" content="Your name here">. It won’t show up anywhere on the page, but it must be included.
The next important piece of information is the item being reviewed. You can do this by wrapping the title of the book in these tags: <strong itemprop="itemreviewed">Sweet Peril</strong> They don’t have to be strong tags, they can be anything (span, div, etc.). You just need to have itemprop="itemreviewed" in there to specify that this is the item you are reviewing.
Then, finally, the most important part: the rating. Here’s what this chunk of text looks like:
<span itemprop="reviewRating" itemscope itemtype="">
 <img src="" alt="3 Stars" class="stars" />
 <meta itemprop="ratingValue" content="3" />
 <meta itemprop="bestRating" content="5" />
You need to wrap the whole thing in these tags: <span itemprop="reviewRating" itemscope itemtype=""> After that, you can insert your rating image or text, then afterwards you provide a code version of that rating like this:
<meta itemprop="ratingValue" content="3" /><meta itemprop="bestRating" content="5" />
This tells Google that you rated the book “3” out of a maximum of “5” stars.


Want to see if you’ve done it correctly? You can insert your URL into Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to see if you’ve inserted the markup correctly. If you have, it will look like this:
Google Structured Data Testing Tool Results for Ratings


It took me a long time to figure this out, but you cannot nest certain types of markups. For example, Schema has markups for restaurants, people, reviews, articles, events, products, etc. Sometimes blog themes will add in “article” markup into the theme. However, if you have article markup, you cannot put review markup inside of that. It will throw an error and won’t work (learned after hours and hours of awful debugging… ugh).
So basically what I’m saying is that if your theme already adds in some kind of Schema markup, your review markup may not work.


Does all this seem super daunting to you? Well the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin comes with a review Schema markup option so that you can have all this embedded for you automatically!

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