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Ideas for how to support aggregate reviews via microformats.


Common themes amongst examples (that we might want to support)

number of reviewers, really? unique people? what if there's more than one rating per person? Number of ratings would be simpler.

Google Rich Snippets makes mistake of assuming that number of ratings equals number of reviews, but users may leave rating without leaving review

These are good points -- added a separate section below to discuss ratings vs reviews vs reviewers. Note that the first comment referring to the number of "reviewers" caught a typo -- it should be number of reviews, not reviewers. -- Kavi, Nov 2 2009

Proposal discussed over IRC

What is the proposal?

This proposal should be written up on a separate page as a microformats draft, e.g. hreview-aggregate.

Why was this proposal preferred?

Other proposals suggested

1) Do nothing. Aggregation must be done by the microformats parser

2) Extend existing hReview format to include "reviewcount"

3) Define a new microformat type for aggregate reviews

4) Do not use hreview classes in hreview-aggregate

Currently Yelp implements review aggregate as an hreview-aggregate block that include the entire hcard inside it, and the aggregate rating. Importing this hcard from an hreview using the include pattern, imports the rating as well.

Reviews vs ratings

Note -- this proposal has been incorporated into the hreview-aggregate draft spec version 0.2 in December 2009.

Adoption of hreview-aggregate has been strong, but one issue that arisen is the notion of reviews vs ratings. The original hreview-aggregate spec as described below uses a single property called "count" to specify the total number of reviews for an item that contributed towards an aggregate review. This works well for a site like Yelp, where the aggregate rating is based on the number of individual user reviews.

However, many sites allow users to provide a rating without actually writing a review. So there should be some way of allowing sites to mark up the number of "ratings" (or "votes") separately from the number of "reviews."

A couple examples of sites that have separate rating counts and review counts:

Proposed solution

Alternative options

Note that we shouldn't remove the ability for people to mark up the actual number of reviews -- for anyone who wants to read reviews, it's very useful to know how many reviews there are on a page even if there are more votes contributing towards an aggregate rating.

See Also

aggregate-review-brainstorming was last modified: Wednesday, December 16th, 2009