Google Seller Ratings overview and updates

by Meredith Kavanagh • ,

In August 2020, Google established new stricter requirements for all of their Seller Ratings partners.  While there were major changes for many providers, Bizrate Insights has been using similar guidelines for many years and required only a few minor changes.

As a Bizrate Insights partner, there is nothing you need to do in order to remain compliant with Google’s updates to their Seller Ratings requirements. Our existing policies demonstrate our longstanding commitment to providing fair, accurate information on behalf of our clients and their customers.

At the same time, Google updated the look, feel, and content of their Seller Ratings with a goal of providing users with the most accurate picture of the purchase and fulfillment experience.  This means that you may have more reviews included on your Bizrate Surveys page, but rest assured that all reviews are being captured and provided to Google in our direct feed.

Continue reading to learn more about Google Seller Ratings and the specifics of these changes.

What are Google Seller Ratings?

Google Seller Ratings is an automated Google Ads extension that allows a business to show a star rating on search ads. The rating is calculated by gathering customer reviews from sources that Google trusts (such as Bizrate Insights). The start count rating is displayed on the ad, as seen in the example below.

google seller ratings yankee candle

In some results, additional information is displayed alongside the star count, such as the number of unique reviews a business has received or a related review qualifier, like average “order accuracy”.

Google will display Seller Ratings alongside paid ads when the following criteria are met:

  • Collect at least 100 qualified reviews in the past 12 months
  • Minimum 3.5/5 score for text ads
  • URL associated to your ratings matches the URL in your Google account

Why do Google Seller Ratings matter?

Seller ratings can contribute to higher click-through rates and better performance on ad campaigns by letting buyers know that a business has a high-quality product or service.

Below we’ll go over the changes to the Google Seller Ratings requirements to keep your team updated. The changes can be broken down into two main categories: requirements for all review collection and fair moderation policies.

Google Seller Rating requirement updates 2020

Google recently updated their review requirements, as summarized below.  These updates do not impact any of the reviews provided by Bizrate Insights for customer seller rating syndication, but we are sharing here to keep you informed.

Requirements for all review collection

  1. Merchants may not offer their customers financial incentives to write reviews of any kind. Examples of merchant-provided incentives include: free samples of products you sell, gift cards, discounts or coupons on future visits, or anything with a monetary value.
  2. Reviews must be completed within 90 days of the customer receiving an invitation.
  3. Ratings must be collected using either a 1-5 or 1-10 scale.
    1. Note: Bizrate uses a 1-10 scale that Google converts to their 5-point scale. This allows for greater detail when collecting reviews and precise data when tracking Net Promoter Score (NPS).
  4. Reviews must be collected directly by the review provider. Reviews may not be imported from another partner, collected on-site by the merchant then shared with the review partner, or via a third-party partner that shares reviews with the review provider.
  5. Merchants must have a dedicated ratings page on their review partner’s site that is public, visible, and discoverable by search engines that displays all reviews.
    1. Note: Your page can be located by visiting Bizrate Surveys and typing your account name or URL in the search box.
  6. Merchant pages and reviews should not be deleted if a merchant stops partnering with a review provider unless the content is fraudulent, violates review policies or a reviewer requests removal.

Fair moderation policies

  1. Merchants may not delete or moderate reviews.
  2. Reviews may be flagged and removed only if the content contains hateful, violent, or inappropriate content, advertising or spam, is off-topic, or contains conflicts of interest.
  3. The review provider must have a set of requirements for removing user reviews that has been shared with Google.
  4. Reviewers may request the removal of their reviews at any time.
  5. If a review is being investigated, then the review must still be included in Google feeds.
  6. The fair moderation policies apply to all reviews, including solicited and unsolicited.

Bizrate clients are already compliant

While the idea of losing ratings or falling out of compliance with Google can be alarming, we want to assure you—you’re in great hands. Bizrate Insights’ strict review policies continue to guarantee that you collect the highest number of verified reviews possible.

If you have any questions about these updates, please contact your account manager. If you are not a Bizrate Insights client and want to learn more about our solutions and how we help provide best in class voice of customer data for our clients, schedule a demo with a client solution specialist today.

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