Product reviews have always been an excellent way to add value & good quality natural user generated content to the product pages of an ecommerce website. The reviews improve conversion rates, help dramatically with long tail SEO and can prevent Panda problems.
Now it seems that reviews are getting even more useful as they are being integrated into the Google Product Search listings shown within the standard organic search results pages. Google has always pulled star ratings into Product Search but this used to be from sites such as Trustpilot who review the service provided by the retailer – this is the first time (as far as we are aware) that they have pulled actual product review data into the search results.
You can clearly see the impact on visibility and clickability that the stars have on the listings in the screenshots below. Brands need to work really hard to persuade customers to add reviews of products by incentives and nice friendly emails a couple of weeks after the product has been sent.
Some of the listings are showing aggregate data for a number of merchants but others are just showing review data from the specific merchants product page.