Last month, we published a blog that was essentially a beginner’s guide to Google Seller’s Ratings. Check that out if you want to learn more about how to get set up. Here we look in-depth at the most recent changes Google made to its Seller Ratings and explain how to know if you qualify.
Why are Google Seller Ratings so important?
With the continued explosion of ecommerce due to the pandemic, your company’s presence on Google has never been more important.
To recap – for any brand or retailer which purchases Ads on Google, Seller Ratings are a key way to add social proof to your ads.
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 Adwords ads. While most often associated with eCommerce companies, any company with a digital presence can take advantage of Google Seller Ratings.
These are important because 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.
The 4.9 rating in the below screenshot is a Google Seller Rating.
But, as we mentioned, Google recently made updates to their Seller Rating requirements. We wanted to quickly outline what these are to ensure you’re fully compliant so you can continue to reap the rewards of this key acquisition channel.
What are the new requirements?
These updated Google Seller Ratings requirements apply to reviews collected beginning July 2020. They are primarily focused on enhancing transparency and authenticity.
- Businesses are not allowed to offer their customers financial incentives of any kind to write Google Seller Ratings. This includes anything of monetary value including free samples, gift cards, discounts on future purchases.
- What this means: You need to focus on generating reviews by creating an exceptional brand and excellent overall experiences.
- Customers must complete their review within 90 days of receiving an invitation
- What this means: Make sure you send follow-ups to ensure you comply with this requirement.
- Only reviews directly collected by a review provider should be sent through the Google feed or displayed and factored into ratings on a review provider’s merchant page. Scraped reviews are not allowed, and reviews collected on a merchant’s site must be directly collected by the review provider.
- What this means: Ensure you are using an independent review provider who has been approved by Google (PowerReviews is one such review provider).
- Each business must have a page that is public, visible, and discoverable via search engines with all reviews shown for Seller Ratings to be displayed. For example, the merchant pages should be included in the sitemap shared with search engines.
- What this means: Transparency for consumers. This is standard for product reviews (as they are a key conversion generator). You can use PowerReviews display capabilities for this purpose.
- Business Seller Rating pages and corresponding reviews should never be deleted after a business stops collecting reviews with a given review provider and the previous reviews should continue to be included in feeds to Google, except where reviews are deleted for content guideline violations or at a user’s request. For example, if a merchant switches review providers, the original reviews provider should maintain a page with the reviews previously collected for that merchant and continue to submit those reviews in their feed to Google.
- What this means: Fairly self-explanatory. You need to build dedicated pages to highlight your Google Seller Ratings. If you do ever change vendor, you will need to combine the reviews collected from both new and old vendors or create separate pages displaying this content.
- Businesses are not able to remove or moderate their reviews. Ensure your review provider has shared their moderation requirements with Google and are approved to continue sending content (PowerReviews has been approved)
- What this means: As we’ve always advocated, the content of your reviews cannot be adjusted in any way, shape, or form. This ensures authenticity.
How do know if I qualify for Seller Ratings?
Aside from these new requirements, there are some baseline standards you need to meet to ensure compliance:
- There must be at least 100 verified site reviews per country from a review platform
- Those reviews have been within the last 12 months
- The reviews have an average star rating of at least 3.5 stars
- Up to six weeks have passed since the feed was first submitted (it may take less time)
Google Seller Ratings are a key tool for promoting and marketing your business. A good rating drives traffic to your site and gets more eyeballs on your products – which can only lead to more sales. But Google recently changed its requirements for its Seller Ratings, placing more of a focus on transparency and authenticity.
Complying with these rules should be fairly straightforward if you typically follow standard best practices. Our technology certainly ensures you meet all these new requirements. But if you are a PowerReviews customer and need support, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager.