Google has recently changed its Seller Rating reviews criteria. If you run paid ads on Google, it might affect you.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What are Google Seller Ratings?

If you don’t know already, Seller Ratings is a feature that adds review content to your paid Google ads, as long as it’s collected by one of Google’s trusted partners.

We’re one of those partners, so we feed the scores we collect on behalf of our clients to Google and it shows up in the form of a star rating.

So an ad that might have looked like this:

seller ratings

Now looks like this:

seller ratings

If this is all new to you, and you think it would be good for your business, get in touch. On average, ads with Seller Ratings get a 17% higher CTR than the same ads without ratings according to Google.

So what’s changing?

Previously, companies with 30 reviews with a minimum 3.5/5 rating in the last 12 months would have their content fed into their ads. Now, the minimum is 150 reviews.

That means:

• If you have more than 150 Customer Experience reviews in the last 12 months, you’re all set!

• If you have less than 150, your star rating will no longer show in paid Google ads.

How do I make sure I see stars?

Obviously, you want to partner with one of the brands on Google’s list of partners. If you pick one that offers a fully managed service, you shouldn’t have a problem collecting the requisite 150.

A few quick things to make sure of when choosing a reviews partner:

1. Proactive collection
A ‘write a review’ button on your website (or elsewhere) is an invitation for someone to jump on and write whatever they want, whether they have bought the product or not. Plus, we think it’s kinda lazy.

Asking purchasers for a review via email removes any chance of a fake and ensures way better review collection rate. Our method of review collection gets 20 reviews for every 100 requests. Are you collecting that many?

Also, when you ask everyone, you get a more accurate representation of scores – not just the really happy or really upset people who are willing to log on and leave a review without being asked. The only thing you have to worry about is making sure you get your purchase feeds through to your review provider quickly and accurately.

Make sure you’re working with a provider who knows how to collect in large volumes. That way you’ll easily get your 150 reviews above 3.5/5.

2. Host the reviews yourself
Some providers will collect the reviews for you, but host them on their own domain. That’s the last thing you want if someone clicks to see more reviews from the ad. Bring people back to your environment so you can make the most of the conversion points there.

Make sure you’re working with a provider who lets you host the content. That way you’ll get the results you deserve from your advertising.

3. Have a dedicated reviews page

People are already searching for your reviews – so you want to ensure you’re in the best place to get the click. We’ve seen great success with our clients when they deploy a page on their website dedicated to reviews (like this one for Admiral or these ones for LV=).

It looks nice in search results…

seller ratings

And makes sure people looking for your reviews have a lovely smooth journey.

4. Plan for the future
Google aren’t exactly forthcoming with their plans, but it’s safe to say this isn’t the only change they’ll make to their services in the near future. Putting your eggs all in one basket, especially with Google, is dangerous.

We’re working on a few cool new things (as is Google) in the way reviews can be displayed in search results. It’s all about the structuring and the tagging of the data as it comes in.

Make sure you’re working with a provider who’s looking to the future. That way you’ll always be ahead.

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Where did my Google Seller Ratings go?