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Reviews and Ratings Google Search Results

They USED to (before Google made major changes this past November). Its not longer possible to develop a GENERIC addon (like XenForo Resource Manager and Showcase) that can use a generic type (as Google is not longer allowing generic types). There are only a handfull of item types that google will display ratings micro data for.

XenForo has already announced that they have no plans to do anything to the XFRM. I on the other hand have a plan to at least be able to have SOME content get indexed with Ratings. WHEN that happens tho is a ways out as it is going to require extensive R&D and working with Google to make sure its even doable.
Follow up question. Instead of using the reviews section built into the add on, I am planning on making one of the Category sections called Reviews. And using the author rating. I am planning on doing things this way because the products that each author will be submitting are unique (guitars) and thus "one off." So multiple reviews from other users does not make senses. This is for a guitar forum, but think of like auto forums. Folks are going to post their car and they may want to review their car, but no one else needs to review it because their car is unique. And because the author is the only one that gets to write a review of their car, I thought I would use a category section so that he can do so in one submission. Instead of posting an item and then posting a review.

All that being said, if I go in this direction, do you think that down the line WHEN you get this add on to link up to google reviews, that my use case would be able to link up with Google reviews? Will author ratings be able to link up? If not automatically, do you think a custom job could get it to link up (how many hours)? Because if you come back and say no only the default review section as is will be able to link up, then I may change my plan.
Well, the first thing to understand is that GOOGLE (not me, not anyone else) is the one that determines whether submitted micro data is acceptable or not (and whether they will accept it or not). Just because something falls within the category of what Google has announced as acceptable, doesn't mean that they WILL accept it. They will still index the content, they just may reject the RATING/REVIEW MICRO DATA.

Example, using the @type "Product", a Guitar for sale on Ebay with 1000's of reviews is more likely to get indexed with Star Ratings and Reviews, than a one off item, that is not a product that is for sale.

A PRODUCT (which is something that is for sale) is one of the types of content that google will consider Rating/Review Micro Data. That is one of the types I plan on adding to Showcase. Not going to get into details NOW, but the plan would allow you to associate a given item with one of the DATA TYPES that google allows to include Rating/Review Micro data for.

Will author ratings be able to link up?
That is the plan, but again, until something is implemented and thoroughly tested, its just a guess at this point.
Bob, let's say that having a reviews section that was, at least, eligible for google reviews/ratings right now was a requirement of my project manager. Is your feedback that the only way to do that on a xenforo forum would be custom development? I still need this to connected to XF because of the users. So is custom my only route? Or can it not even work custom?
Its pretty simple to understand.

Pre November 2019, Google had 100's of schema types that could include Ratings Micro Data and if accepted, the search results would display Star Ratings on them.


They made a MASSIVE CHANGE that literally cut down 100's of schema types that they would accept Ratings Micro Data, to a list of only 17 schema types, all with specific requirements (no more "generic" ones).

These are the allowed schema types:
Addons like XFRM and Showcase are using the "CreativeWork" scheme type, which is a Generic "cover all types of content" type schema. The "CreativeWork" schema can (and is) still being used, however, it will no longer accept Rating Micro Data.

So if you want to use Showcase and get GOOGLE to ACCEPT RATINGS micro data, you would have to customize Showcase to use one (or more) of the above 17 Schema types. This is not something that you can just HACK a template and WALLA. Its going to require PROGRAMMING for each specific type, because if you attempt to CHEAT THE SYSTEM, Google will catch it and penalize you (and I am sure that is not something you want to have happen). Probably the one that would work for you would be PRODUCT, however, to implement that one, its going to require additional fields in the database that would store the data that is required by google. It would also require extensive modification to the existing application/ld+json output (which is what gets sent to google for their consideration for indexing).

You'll have the same issues with ANY addon that was using any of the Schema types that have since been removed (and most XF addons were using the generic catch all schema type "CreativeWork".

Mike (one of the Owners of XenForo) has already stated that they will NOT be making any changes to the core XenForo Resource Manager (because the amount of work is just way to extensive).

As mentioned above, I have plans to modify Showcase (and several other addons of mine that have ratings/reviews), however, that is a long ways down the road (probably sometime after XF 2.2).

btw, this only applies to Google. All other search engines accept ratings/reviews micro data from ALL scheme types still.

I hope that answers your question. You certainly don't need to have an entire ADDON developed for you when there are existing addons that only need some customization done to them.