Have Seller Ratings Disappeared From Your Ads? Here’s Why

— November 1, 2016


Have you noticed Google seller ratings disappearing from your AdWords ads lately? If so, then you’re not alone – many business owners and advertisers have lost their star ratings from their ads over the past couple of weeks

This is because Google has changed the minimum number of customer reviews you need to qualify for the program. Instead of 30 reviews over any 12-month period, you’ll now need 150 reviews in the same time frame to qualify.

Google selling ratings

There hasn’t been any official word on the changes made to the seller rating program but Google has sent emails to some advertisers and businesses.

This includes (presumably all) of the trusted review sites on Google’s list, which you can see on this page. What you’ll also see right down the bottom of the same page is the new requirements for GSR:

  • “In most cases, your business must have at least 150 unique reviews — each from the past 12 months.
  • Your composite rating generally must be at least 3.5 stars or higher.”

So instead of needing 30 positive reviews over any given 12-month period, you now need 150.

Why would Google make this change?

There is some logic to these changes. Those ratings are calculated from customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot and Reviews.co.uk, who are telling us Google wants to increase the quality of its seller ratings.

This makes sense. A brand with 150 positive reviews is always going to be more trustworthy than one with 30. The change will also make seller ratings more valuable, purely because fewer ads will have them.

What can I do if my seller ratings have disappeared?

The first thing you need to do is determine whether you can make the new threshold. If you were only just reaching 30 reviews per year, then the jump to 150 is almost certainly too much. Reviews.co.uk estimates smaller businesses who complete fewer than 2,000 transactions per year may struggle to meet the new requirements.

If you can reach 150 reviews over a 12-month period, then it’s a question of increasing the percentage of customers who leave positive feedback on Google’s trusted sites. Get in touch with any review platforms you’re registered with and ask them for advice (it’s in their interest to increase your review numbers, too) and you can speak to our team about strategies for generating more reviews.

If you can’t reach 150 reviews, don’t panic. Instead, track your click-through rates (CTRs) on the ads that previously qualified and see what impact the loss is making. Theory says you should see a drop in CTR for these ads, but this isn’t guaranteed – so check before you take any action.

If you lose your seller ratings permanently and see a drop in CTRs, again, you don’t need to panic because you can probably recover those clicks by optimising your account elsewhere. This could mean anything from changing how you use ad extensions to improving Quality Score or mastering expanded text ads. There’s no single fix that will work for every AdWords account, but our PPC experts will be able to help you get CTRs back on track.

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Author: Simon Chivers

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