What types of Google ratings can be found out there? Google ratings are based on online reviews. To say that online reviews are important is something of an understatement. Here is the thing; would you ever buy a product on Amazon if it had no reviews? And would you buy a product that has bad reviews? Google Ratings serve as a guide, helping people make informed purchasing decisions.
Today, nearly 90% of consumers use online reviews as a guide when making purchases.
But what does Google say about reviews? Google, the largest search engine in the world, looks at reviews as a measure of how reputable a business is. According to the company’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines;
User reviews are often helpful sources of a reputation for websites that offer products or services. You may consider a large number of detailed, trustworthy positive user reviews as evidence of a positive reputation.
So, what types of ratings does Google use and where do they appear? It’s important to understand this part because it tends to have a huge bearing on your bottom line as a business. When it comes to Google, there are 4 areas where a company can display its ratings directly on SERPs. You can think of the sections below as the types of ratings on Google;
Ratings on Google Maps
The first place where Google ratings appear is on Google Maps. There are a lot of businesses out there that choose to ignore the power of Google Maps. You can only do that at your peril!
If you are a local business, such as a restaurant, a bar, or a weddings venue, Google Maps is how your customers are going to be able to find you. Tip: Use LocalFalcon to see where your local rankings currently stand.
In these instances, people will look up such keywords as “restaurant near me,” or “weddings venue Atlanta.” The results that appear will include Google Maps listings.
How to get reviews on Google Maps
To appear on Google Maps, you need to have a verified Google Business profile. It’s not difficult to get your business listed. When you have gone through all the steps, Google will send you a pin via postcard to your listed address. You will have to use this PIN to verify your business.
Once that is done, your business will start appearing on Google Maps. Make sure that you have filled in all the details. That includes your address, the nature of your business, your opening and closing hours, your contact details, and other information.
Please note that you do not need to have a listing on Google Maps for people to be able to review your business. If you are a well-established business, chances are high that people will already be reviewing you on the platform. So, you need to claim your listing so you can manage how your business is presented.
Send your review link to your (happy) customers
Once you get your review link from your Google My Business account, send it to all your past customers, friends, family, mom, or whoever. Try not to send it to any angry customers, although having a few bad reviews looks more natural than 100 5-star reviews.
Google Seller Ratings
Next, we take a look at Google Seller Ratings. They are another type of Google Ratings. Most people use Google daily. While looking for products and services of interest, you are likely to come across ads featuring 5 golden stars. These are Seller Ratings.
They show up on Google Ads and Google Shopping’s free listings. You can learn more about how to get Seller Ratings. On a conscious level, those five little stars can be easy to ignore. But they have an outsized level of importance.
According to Google, Seller Ratings increases the chance that people are going to click on your ad by as much as 17%. That’s a lot. It’s a huge boost in your profit margins. But how do you get Google Seller Ratings?
Seller Ratings are based on online reviews. However, Google does not use reviews from anybody. The following is how to get Seller Ratings;
How do you get them?
There are several ways through which you can get Seller Ratings for your business.
Hire a Google-approved company
The easiest of these ways is by hiring the services of Google 3rd Party Review Partners. The following are examples of 3 party companies approved to syndicate data to Google for Seller Ratings;
- Shopper Approved
- Verified Reviews
Google Customer Reviews
This is another way for you to get Google Seller Ratings. On the face of it, Google Customer Reviews is free. All that you need to do is to install the necessary code on your site, and your customers will get a Google Customer Survey to opt-in form upon checkout.
Data from Google Customer Reviews then needs to be sent to Google, where it may be used for Seller Ratings. However, things are not as simple as they may appear at first. Very few people are going to be able to set up and manage Google Customer Reviews on their own.
You’ll need to hire an experienced programmer to handle the Google Customer Review technical integration. So, at the end of the day, it’s probably easier for you to go the 3rd party partner model. Once you have signed up with any of the approved companies, the process of gathering reviews and syndicating them to Google becomes automatic.
Google Product Ratings
Product Reviews are another type of Google Ratings. Where Seller Ratings are for a seller as a whole, Product Ratings cover specific products. Product Ratings appear on Product Listing Ads (PLA) and in Google Shopping.
You can see in the screenshot below examples of product ratings. They are for different types of laptops. So, a person searching for a laptop will have a pretty good idea about the performance of each make and model beforehand. That’s the power of product ratings.
Use Google Approved 3rd party companies for product ratings
Google has a list of companies that it has approved for Product Ratings. Many of the companies on there are also approved for Seller Ratings. Examples are Shopper Approved and Trustpilot. So, you can hire one company and they will cover both Seller and Product ratings.
Google Customer Reviews for Product Ratings
You can also use Google Customer Reviews for Product Ratings. Google Customer Reviews data is accepted by Product Ratings, helping you gain product reviews and ratings when you show your products on Google.
It’s similar to what happens with Seller Reviews. Google Customer Reviews is nominally free. However, as mentioned in the Seller Rating area, you’ll need to hire an experienced programmer to handle the technical integration.
Google Organic Review Snippets
These are a less well-known type of Google Ratings. However, their impact is still strong. They appear on organic search results. Google gathers review snippets from different online review platforms. These reviews can be shown as text or as a rating. The 5-star rating system is similar to what you will get with Product and Seller Ratings.
Ratings are allowed for books, courses, events, local business, movies, recipes, products, how-to articles, software, and much more. Here is where you can learn more about Google organic review snippets.
This is what a rich snippet for a movie looks like. As noted at the top, the system is based on 5 stars. The higher your overall rating the better. The power of Organic review snippets is that they draw people to your link, even if you are not number one in search results.
In the above example, people are much more likely to click on the result that has rich snippets, which is on number one, and not on the one that has no rich snippets, which is on number one. So, this form of Google Ratings is pretty important.
Below is what the product review rich snippet looks like under the free listings in Google Shopping.
To get these types of product reviews, you can talk to your eCommerce web developer. If you are using something like Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce, you can find a free or paid plugin.
In this article, we gave a breakdown of Google Ratings. We noted that there are four main types. These are Seller Ratings, Product Ratings, Google Reviews, and Rich Snippets. All these ratings are important. They mostly use a five-star system to show a business’ ratings. Their importance lies in the fact that the majority of people now consult online reviews before making a purchase. As a consumer, that’s something that you probably do yourself.