“Product reviews provide critical information to shoppers making purchase decisions. To help shoppers easily find this information when searching for products, we’re introducing product ratings on Product Listing Ads. Shoppers in the United States will see product ratings appear in the form of stars and review counts on Product Listing Ads across google.com and google.com/shopping. This 5-star rating system represents aggregated rating and review data for the product, compiled from multiple sources including merchants, third party aggregators, editorial sites and users.”
What are Product Ratings:
Product ratings are customer reviews for specific products that are gathered from ratings and reviews from merchants, aggregators, review sites, and users.
The product ratings will appear across both the main Google Search homepage, and on the Google.com/shopping portal (See Figure 1). The ratings will be represented by stars, 1-5, and will display a total number of reviews in parentheses. The total number of reviews is actionable and will navigate customers to a new page that displays a list of all available reviews (See Figure 2) for that specific product.
Merchants who decide to share their customer reviews with Google hope to see an increase in PLA clicks which in turn would drive more sales. Think of Product Ratings as an extension for PLAs that acts as a differentiator between you and your competitors. Google did not mention if they would be offering any formal reporting for Product Ratings. Data for other forms of PLA extensions (Merchant Promotions, Local PLAs) can be viewed through “Click-Type” reports. Not knowing if/when a Product Rating is displayed creates quit a challenge when trying to measure the overall impact.
How to enable Product Ratings on your Product Listing Ads:
Product Ratings will be available to merchants targeting the United States who choose to share all of their product review content with Google, either directly or through an approved third party aggregator. Beginning mid-September, Google will only show product ratings for US merchants who choose to share their reviews. In order to give merchants time to share their review content, Google is offering a grace period through early September. During this time, they’ll allow Product Ratings to be shown across all PLAs where they have product review data available. Product Ratings are one of several extensions they may show with PLAs, so please note that just because a product has reviews does not mean that they’ll always show ratings.
Determining your next step:
There are two ways to share your review content with Google to ensure that your PLAs continue to feature Product Ratings after the grace period.
Option 1: Direct Feed
Merchants have the option to send Product Review feeds directly to Google. Technical detailed information about creating and submitting Google product review feeds can be found here. The initial set-up is very technical and Google suggests working with an Account Manager to request support from a Google technical specialist.
Option 2: Third Party Aggregator
Merchants can submit Product Review feeds using an approved third party aggregator (as you have with Seller Ratings). Whether they are already working with an aggregator or are interested in starting to do so, Google can work with third parties to properly setup their review feed. Many advertisers use a third party service for collecting reviews and syndicating them to sites like Google. Google receive reviews from the following companies (note: this list is subject to change):
Google Shopping Product Ratings Summary:
- Must have at least three (3) reviews to be eligible
- Only available to merchants targeting the United States