Google began notifying advertisers in September that it would start counting and displaying Seller Ratings at the country level as of October 1. After some delay, Chee Lo, head of SEO at reviews platform Trustpilot alerted us that the change went into effect early Friday.
Seller Ratings are the stars that appear in ads on the Google Search Network via an automated extension. Google sources the ratings and reviews from Google Customer Reviews, StellaService, Google Consumer Surveys, third-party review sites and other sources.
What’s changed? Google is taking a more local approach to Seller Ratings to show searchers ratings submitted only by users in their own country, rather than globally. It also means ratings are broken out by country and cannot be viewed globally. A new dropdown allows users to change the country setting, as seen in the screenshot above.
New requirements. Prior to this change, businesses had to have a total of 150 reviews worldwide and an average score of 3.5 for ratings to display. Now, businesses must have 100 reviews per country for their reviews to be eligible to display in those regions.
The implications. For U.S.-based businesses that sell primarily within the U.S., the change actually makes it easier to qualify for Seller Ratings. However, businesses that sell internationally may find themselves ineligible for Seller Ratings in some markets. This is likely to be a bigger challenge for smaller businesses or businesses that ship internationally, but don’t have a physical presence other regions.
How do I see my ratings? Lo noted that Google is still updating its documentation on Seller Ratings, but that the new URL to see your ratings (replace “example” with your own domain name) is: https://www.google.com/shopping/ratings/account/metrics?q=EXAMPLE.com&v=2&c=US
That URL is set to display ratings from the U.S. (c=US). You can use the new dropdown to view ratings from other countries.
Why it matters. Seller ratings can effect ad performance in a number of ways.
Results will vary, but Google has said ads with Seller Ratings see 10 percent higher click-through rates than those without. We know Google’s Ad Rank factors include expected click-through rate and the expected impact of relevant ad extensions to generate clicks, which means seller ads with ratings are more likely to see lower CPCs and be shown in higher positions than those without. They may also drive higher conversion rates.
Showing ratings only from users in a searcher’s country should provide a more relevant user experience. The new eligiblity requirements will make it easier for more businesses to show ratings in their primary markets. On the flip side, losing ratings in a country you sell in could hurt campaign performance there. You can see how the Seller Ratings extension is performing from the Automated extensions report under the Extensions tab in the Google Ads UI.