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A strong Google seller rating can help you stand out from the competition, bring more potential customers to your site, and ultimately drive more revenue for your business. All with relative ease. What more could you want?!

In this best practice guide, we’ll show you how to set up your e-commerce site to take full advantage of this powerful feature. We’ll also help you troubleshoot issues that may prevent your ratings from appearing on your Google Ad campaigns.

Quick links:

Happy reading! And if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us here.


What are Google seller ratings?

Google seller ratings are an automated extension of Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords and Google AdWords Reviews), a platform businesses use to promote their brands on Google Search, YouTube, and other sites. They appear as below:

Source: Google

When seller ratings are enabled, Google displays the following information along with your text ad:

  • A star review rating between one and five stars.
  • The number of customer ratings your store has received.
  • Additional qualifiers accompanying the store’s rating, if available. For example, if Google sees multiple reviews praising your store’s fast shipping or easy return process, it may highlight those comments along with your rating.

Your review rating will impact your local ranking and review sentiment highly impacts conversion. It should be noted that the star rating isn’t actually an average, but a “bayesian average.”

Let’s look at some examples of Google seller ratings in action:

This example from Sonos shows how a seller rating normally appears — a rating and number of reviews:

Google seller ratings Sonos
Source: Instapage

Travel brand Away, however, has rating, number of reviews and a qualifier. In this case, order accuracy:

Source: Store Growers

For Nike on the other hand, Google shows the rating and qualifier (free shipping) but not number of reviews:

Source: Search Engine Journal

To determine your e-commerce site’s star rating, Google collects and analyzes data from reputable shopper engagement platforms (including Bazaarvoice, of course!)

What are the benefits of Google seller ratings?

Seller ratings are Google’s way of rewarding advertisers with high customer ratings so they can connect with more shoppers and attract higher qualified leads.

With more than 80% of online searches starting on Google, having a strong presence on this leading search engine will help you extend reach, drive conversion, and scale your brand. 

A few stats to get you excited:

Google seller ratings also benefit brick-and-mortar locations. Almost 73% of shoppers who perform a local search will visit a store within five miles of their location.

How do Google seller ratings affect your ad campaigns?

Google Ads pros know there’s a lot that goes into a campaign’s performance. You have to get the ad copy just right, fine-tune your bidding strategy, and ensure the landing page shines. 

But if your current campaigns still aren’t performing as well as you’d like, or if you’re just getting started on Google Ads, a strong Google seller rating may help you improve your ad performance.

According to Google, getting a positive Google seller review can increase click-through rate (CTR) on your text ads by as much as 17%. But improved CTRs are just the beginning. In addition to more clicks, positive seller ratings can also help you improve your quality score, decrease your cost-per-click (CPC), and improve the quality of leads visiting your site. 

Just like the reviews on your website and product pages, enabling seller ratings is a simple and powerful way of adding instant social proof to your campaigns. Again and again, user-generated content (UGC) in the form of online reviews have proven to be among the most trusted referral sources for e-commerce brands. 

Globally, 78% of shoppers say they trust online reviews. How much do they trust them? Almost 80% of consumers say online reviews have as much of an impact on their purchasing decisions as recommendations from friends or family. 

Once a shopper clicks through to your site, reviews can also help accelerate conversions by building shopper confidence and upgrading product sentiment. Having just five reviews on a product can increase purchase likelihood by 270%. Looking to get started on your review collection journey? Bazaarvoice’s Ratings and Reviews feature can help you with that!

How to set up your Google Ads to enable seller ratings

Seller ratings are available to businesses that have an online marketplace or provide paid services to their clients.

To enable Google seller ratings on your campaigns, you must meet both of the following qualifications, according to Google:

  • Maintain an average composite rating of at least 3.5 stars
  • Run an ad with a URL that matches the domain Google uses to track your ratings

In addition, ads will only show seller ratings if Google has collected what it deems to be a sufficient number of unique reviews over the past 12 months. While this number will vary from business to business, a good rule of thumb is 100 or more reviews. These must be collected from the same country as the shopper to appear in their results.

Pro tip: Since Google’s algorithms can be picky, it’s a good idea to try to overshoot that 100-review minimum. 

If you’re on a budget, don’t worry. Google seller ratings won’t impact the cost of your campaign. At the time of publishing, Google does not charge advertisers extra to display seller ratings. If a shopper clicks on your ad, you will be charged no more than your maximum CPC bid.

How to check your Google seller rating

To see your site’s Google seller rating for a specific country, use the following URL. Just replace “{yourwebsite}” with your homepage URL: 

https://www.google.com/shopping/ratings/account/lookup?q={yourwebsite}

To switch countries, simply click the drop-down menu to find your desired location. 

Heads up! If Google doesn’t have enough data or reviews from the selected country, you may not have a seller rating there.  

Common Google seller rating issues [and how to overcome them]

Even if your site meets all of the minimum requirements for seller ratings, it doesn’t mean they will show on your Google Ads campaigns. Why? Google seller ratings depend on multiple factors, including the performance of the auction and whether Google’s team (or its partners) have completed a research evaluation of your site.

Google seller ratings will also only show if your ad wins the auction and has a high enough ad rank.

Some of these factors are in your control. Some are not. If you meet all of the qualifications and your seller ratings still don’t show, try these common troubleshooting tips:

1. Check the freshness of your reviews

Review recency matters. Having product reviews isn’t enough anymore, you need to have recent product reviews.

Source: Influenster reviews recency survey

Google has the same reviews mantra, too. It doesn’t just measure the number of reviews to determine whether your e-commerce site qualifies for a seller rating. It also rates you by the dates your reviews were posted.

If at least 100 (or more) of those reviews were not posted within the past 12 months, Google doesn’t count them toward your seller rating. 

No fear. Here’s five ways to increase your review volume, including giveaways, samples, and more. 

Pro tip: Although Google doesn’t mind you asking for reviews, avoid bulk review requests. They can result in your reviews being filtered out.

2. You’re in the wrong country

Google currently supports seller ratings from the following domains

Google.com

Google.co.uk

Google.co.nz

Google.com.au

Google.de

Google.co.jp

Google.fr

Google.nl

Google.com.br

Additionally, at least 10 of those 100+ reviews need to be in the same language as their Google interface. That means if a shopper is searching Google in Germany, at least 10 of those reviews need to be in German for your seller rating to appear.

3. Your campaign types aren’t set up correctly

If your Google seller ratings still aren’t showing up, make sure you have the correct campaign type set up.

Seller ratings will only show when the campaign type is either:

  • Search Network with Display Select with subtype All features
  • Search Network only with subtype All features

How to turn them off

If, for whatever reason, you wish to turn seller ratings off, Google has simple instructions for removing extensions. As follows:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account
  2. From the menu, click Ads & Extensions then click Automated Extensions
  3. Click the three-dot menu button on the right and click Advanced options
  4. Click Turn off specific automated extensions and select the seller rating extension
  5. Add your reason for turning off the extension then click Turn off

Google seller ratings are more important than ever

Because of social distancing recommendations, and the meteoric rise of social commerce, more people are shopping online than ever before. In 2020, online retail sales increased almost 33%, and that trend doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Sales were already up by 39% in Q1 of 2021.

In one recent survey, 61% of respondents said they expect to continue shopping online after the pandemic because of the convenience. While e-commerce was already a strong channel for many brands and retailers, some experts say the pandemic will accelerate the industry by at least two years. 

With all of these shoppers turning to the internet to make their purchases, Google seller ratings are an essential part of your lead-generation toolkit. They’re a proven method of getting even more value out of all that great UGC displayed on your website. And more importantly, they can (almost) guarantee you an increase in quality traffic to your products and drive more sales.

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