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How to earn Google Seller Ratings following the August 2020 update

Tuesday, September 8, 2020
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Google Seller Ratings (GSRs) is an automated Google Ads extension that was created to demonstrate that other people trust your business and have had a positive experience with you. It’s an essential component to any business that values an online search presence and has been known to improve performance.

If you’ve ever typed into Google’s search bar, you’ve seen Google Seller Ratings in action. In essence, it’s a star rating that displays underneath the URL on your Google Ads. While most often associated with eCommerce companies, any company with a digital presence can take advantage of Google Seller Ratings. Take a look at the example below, on how a mortgage broker can have GSRs display on their search ads.

example-of-google-seller-rating

Google has said that the seller ratings extension benefits both searchers and businesses, as it increases click-through rate by 10% on average which can lead to a higher quality score.

GSRs just made your job a bit easier!

So, how do you get GSRs to display in your search ads? That’s just one of the major questions we’ll be tackling here.

Google Seller Ratings – August 2020 Update

In August 2020, Google made some changes to the Google Seller Ratings requirements. Here's what businesses should know and follow before trying to earn Google Seller Ratings:

  • Businesses are not allowed to offer their customers financial incentives to write reviews of any kind. This includes anything from free samples, gift cards, discounts on future purchases, to anything of monetary value.
  • Each business eligible for seller ratings must have a page that is public, visible, and discoverable via search engines with all reviews shown. For example, the business pages should be included in the sitemap shared with search engines.
  • Customers must have completed their review within 90 days of receiving an invitation from the retailer.
  • Your listing must only display reviews collected through your current review platform, and only these are eligible for submission to the Google feed. If you imported reviews before the 1st of July 2020, this change will not affect you.
  • Businesses are not able to remove or moderate their reviews (from current or previous provider). However, reviews from the current provider may be flagged and will be removed if the content contains hateful, violent, or inappropriate content, advertising or spam, is off-topic, or contains conflicts of interest.

If you have any other questions about Google Seller Ratings and how to acquire them, keep on reading!

Question #1: How can I get Google Seller Ratings?

As of November 2018, Google is now displaying Seller Ratings on a per-country basis to better reflect your customers’ experience in a specific country. Google has also lowered the Seller Ratings threshold of reviews required to 100 per country, instead of 150 global reviews. The reviews from users in a particular country will only contribute to the company’s rating in that country.

To collect Seller Ratings, you will need to maintain a high standard of service, so that your average review score is above 3.5/5.

Next, you’ll need to be collecting enough reviews. You will need to have at least 100 reviews in the last 12 months in a given country, for your business to be eligible for GSR in that country. This means that you need to send invitations to your customers to invite them to review your services.

Question #2: Why aren’t my Google Seller Ratings showing?

There are a couple of reasons why your Google Ratings aren’t showing up. Because Seller Ratings is an automated ad extension, you can’t set them up or have any control over whether or not they show.

To make sure you’ve ticked all the boxes that factor into GSRs, here’s a handy list to keep in mind.

  • Do you have more than 100 unique reviews per country from a review platform?
  • Have they all been written in the past 12 months?
  • Do you have an average score of 3.5 stars out of 5, or above?

Tip: Still not showing?

Note - a recent Google update recently opened up GSRs globally. Previously, GSRs was limited to specific domains but this is no longer the case!

We can also help you check if Google has added the reviews to their Merchant review page.

Now that you know why your Seller Ratings aren’t showing, the next step is to learn why your Google stars might not show up every time you search for them.

Question #3 Why do Google Seller Ratings show up only sometimes on the same search terms, and how often can I expect it to show?

Sometimes Google Seller Ratings don’t show with your ads. And sometimes they do. Don’t panic, that doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong.

You’ve already made sure that your ads were optimised by ticking all the boxes on the above list, so let’s go through what could be happening…

  • Google is determining the best time to show the extension based on the intent of the query.
  • The search engine will also take into consideration the recency of the search, as well as the cached results
  • If someone searches the same keyword over and over again to check their extensions, both paid and organic results will be affected, and the extension will not always appear as Google shows them only a certain number of times.

Tip: Check whether or not your extension is showing from a different device or a different IP address. If it shows, you know you have Google Seller Ratings, and Google is determining whether or not to show them.

Question #4 How do I make my Google Seller Ratings show more often?

Seller Ratings don’t always appear regularly, but you can take steps to make them more likely to appear with your Search Network ads.

Google has provided additional tips to increase your chances of having GSRs show up in your ads. A fairly obvious tip is to be a great business so your reviews are not only high but also so customers will be encouraged to leave reviews about the great experience they had at any point in their buying journey.

But they also encourage to keep your business name and URL consistent across the websites where your reviews live. Google aggregate reviews from multiple sources to power GSRs so be sure that your URL and name is consistent across review sites and that Google isn’t accidentally aggregating the wrong reviews or ignoring your reviews.

Question #5 How do I track my GSR performance?

You can track your traffic attributed to GSR by going into your Google Ads account and checking your Automated Extension Report.

This report tracks all data that comes from any Google Ads extension you might have. Based on the results, you can see how often the Seller Ratings show as well as the ad groups they correspond to.

example-of-gsr-report

You’ll find more great examples of GSR reports here.

Tracking your results will allow you understand the performance of your ads with and without extension, and compare click-through rate and cost.

Now that Google isn’t a mystery anymore, set up your Seller Rating Extension today and leverage your user-generated content to grow your business’s visibility and trust on search engines.

If you'd like to find out more about the importance of reviews to improve your visibility in search, give our Complete Guide to Reviews a read below!

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