Red Hat cubes “Red Hat” Local SEO. I coined the term back in September. (I don’t do black/gray hat, but red is cool!)

“Red Hat” = Smart, Bright, Bold Optimization!
Red hat optimization involves thinking outside the box and utilizing advanced techniques that help make a listing stand out and give conversion rates a boost.
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Here’s a great example of a BRAND NEW way to make your listing stand out that hardly anyone knows about yet. I’ve only told my “inner circle” so far but decided to share publicly today. Check this out and then I’ll explain below…

DOUBLE REVIEW STARS – BIGGER BLENDED LISTING (click for full size)

doublereviewstars

Did you see double??? Yep Attaboy Plumbing has 2 sets of Gold stars and no one else does! Also note that the extra review snippet makes their listing a little larger than the competition. The bottom set of stars are the regular review stars from Google Places. The top review stars are from an hReview snippet right on the web site. Here’s a direct link to the SERPs.

Backstory… I did consulting for Laura from Attaboy Plumbing a few months ago to try to help her with some ranking issues she was having. We’ve stayed in touch ever since and give each other a head’s up on any significant Google changes. She emailed me last week to show me her DOUBLE GOLD review stars and ask me what I thought was going on. Here is what I think…

Google is starting to show hReview snippets complete with gold stars in organic. As soon as I found out, I added hReview to one of my testimonials. I did this at 8 PM a week ago Sunday. BOOM Monday AM it showed up. Check it out in my Google ranking here: Google Places Optimization (Dang, I’ve always been #1, but recently dropped.) ;-(

But I’ve never seen hReview snippets in local until last week when I saw Laura’s. Then yesterday Andrew Shotland blogged an example he found in the wild. But in his case the review snippet was coming from a 3rd party site, which is something you can’t really influence or control. I’m working on a client site in the next week, so plan to hReview one of their testimonials to see if I can get it to show up like Attaboy’s does.

I’m not going to explain how to do hReview markup or share my tip for how I got mine to show up so fast, in one day. Can’t give up all my secrets! 😉 But below is tons of info that will help if you want to learn more.

hReview Resources

Here’s a really in-depth article: Using the hReview Microformat for Reviews

There is lots of hReview info and even an hReview creator at http://microformats.org/wiki/hreview, but the site is down for me right now.

Last but not least Google – Rich snippets documentation

PLEASE DO NOT RICH SNIPPET SPAM
MARKET WITH INTEGRITY AND EVERYONE WINS!

If you find any rich snippet spam, Google has a place where you can report people who are abusing this new option.

Photo credit: Jared Smith