In 2013, Google introduced third-party “Review Extensions” in their AdWords platform. These review extensions allow advertisers to publish a quote or endorsement from a reputable source in their Google Ads. As you can see in the examples below, the review extensions (also called review snippets) can either be a quote or a general summary of your product or company from a published review.
Source: Blast Analytics and Marketing
Despite the initial excitement surrounding these extensions, Google has recently announced that these reviews will stop showing entirely on their AdWords platform. Google plans on deleting all review extensions along with their performance data in February 2018. Google is recommending to their customers to use sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets extensions instead of the review extensions. Google published the statement on their support page for the review extensions.
Source: Search Engine Land
Google also announced that on January 19th, AdWords accounts using both location extensions and call extensions will see a new change that is meant to increase ad impressions and call volume. To improve customer experience across Google.com and Google Maps, when ads show specific business locations, they will also give users the option of calling the phone number directly associated with the business. This means that regardless if you set up your call extensions or location extensions, Google will show local searchers the local phone number of that advertiser’s address as listed in their Google My Business account.
To prepare for this change, Google recommends users to make sure that their Google My Business profile and phone numbers are correct and up to date for all locations. Also, if your business’s main goal is to generate more phone calls, you should consider using a “call-only campaign” instead.
Check out Google’s announcement posted on their blog below:
Understanding Seller Ratings
Despite Google ending review extensions, there is still hope for advertisers to display credible endorsements to their audiences. Seller ratings are a great way to build trust and gain brand loyalty from consumers. Seller Ratings are available as an automated extension that displays the ratings and reviews you have earned from independent review services. These reviews represent your customers’ opinion about the overall performance of your business. Therefore, when you search for a company on Google and their ad appears, the ad will be displayed alongside the company’s star rating. Below is an example of Seller Ratings, and how the stars are displayed:
As you can see, Japan Rail Pass has collected over 1400 independently certified reviews in the last 12 months, a great majority of which are 5-stars, giving them an overall rating of 4.8 stars in total. Therefore, when you search for the company on Google and their Ad shows up, it is displayed with their average star rating under the link and before the description.
How to get started with Seller Ratings
Google only gathers seller ratings from reputable sources such as eKomi, an official Google Partner, that collects and publishes business reviews. Displaying seller ratings greatly influences customers when making purchasing decisions. The stars grab the attention of interested consumers and help drive more qualified leads as well as traffic to your website. According to a study by BrightLocal, 97% of consumers read online reviews for businesses in 2017.
Google’s platforms allow for seller ratings to be enabled with ease. Since seller ratings are an automated extension in AdWords Search ads, the process to display them is quite simple. Google recommends getting started by reaching out to one of their certified Google Partners such as eKomi. eKomi collects and publishes reviews about your business and products which will automatically be displayed in your ads. Next, you will need to make sure that your AdWords campaign is set for “Search Network” text ads. Finally, make sure that with both Google and the chosen third-party are using the correct domain to collect reviews. This will ensure that the seller ratings attributed to your domain will appear automatically next to your ad. To learn more about Seller Rating extensions, follow the link here.
More people are looking at reviews now than ever before. This is a trend that is not expected to slow down either. Using these stars will unlock numerous opportunities and benefits for your business. These include: increasing CTR & conversion rates, reducing cost while increasing quality score, and increasing social proof.
To learn more about Google’s Seller Ratings, check out eKomi’s guide here.
eKomi, The Feedback Company is Europe’s premiere & largest independent provider of transaction-based reviews & ratings. As a Google worldwide partner with over 250+ employees and headquartered in Berlin, Germany and Los Angeles, California with offices in London, Paris, Madrid, and Kiev, eKomi has gathered & published tens of millions of reviews for customers.
14,000 companies leverage eKomi´s social commerce solution to enable trust, increase sales, reduce returns, and drive organic traffic through self-perpetuating User-Generated-Content.
eKomi’s groundbreaking technology enables online businesses to generate seller ratings, customer reviews, product reviews, social recommendations, and create viral effects on websites, social media, and search engines allowing for a successful revenue generating impact for businesses.
To see our solutions in action, book your demo here.