Google will now display product ratings on Product Listing Ads across google.com and google.com/shopping. It will display the 5-star ratings compiled from product reviews from multiple sources including merchants, third-party aggregators, editorial sites and users.
The presence of such ratings may help ecommerce pros gain an edge in conversions versus ads lacking that information as shoppers decide what to buy.
Google said in the Inside AdWords blog there will be a grace period through October 2014 where the company will allow product ratings to be shown across all PLAs, provided product review data is available. Once the grace period passes Google will only show ratings where merchants have opted to share product review data with Google.
However, sharing that data doesn’t guarantee a given ad will show its associated rating. “Product ratings are one of several extensions we may show with Product Listing Ads, so please note that just because a product has reviews does not mean that we’ll always show ratings,” the company said.
Merchants targeting a US audience are able to take part in this initial phase of the product ratings program. Google plans to make product ratings available in additional countries throughout 2014. According to Google support, merchants will have to share product review data directly with Google or through an approved third party aggregator like ResellerRatings or ShopperApproved.
While these ratings pertain specifically to the products being sold by various online sellers, Google hasn’t neglected the seller side of the ratings game. Google licensed seller ratings from StellaService in 2013. That program rates how well a seller’s customer service performs when it comes to placing orders and handling returns, among other factors.