Google seems to be rolling out seller ratings to the UK AdWords results today, just in time to take advantage of increased Christmas marketing budgets.
This feature has been in existence for a few months on Google.com but today is the first time I’ve seen it on Google.co.uk. Last week Google was still telling people on forums that this was only for US campaigns.
The new change means that if you advertise on AdWords you simply have to put some effort into making sure you have 4 or 5 stars in the reviews on Google Product Search – the links point directly to a review page like this one for John Lewis which no doubt customers will be reading and taking note of.
Click the image below for a full size version.
The biggest problem that brands have with reviews is that people often only leave reviews if the service is bad – how many people would order a mobile phone and leave a positive review just because it all went smoothly and the product arrived on time? The key with reviews is to encourage your happy customers to leave positive reviews and hope that these counteract the negative ones that pretty much any business will have.
Another issue is that brands with a small number of reviews can very quickly see their overall score drop if competitors decide to leave fake negative reviews. Take the example of a big brand that has 34 reviews & 4 stars – if they get 30 reviews of zero stars then that 4 star rating drops to 2 stars for just a couple of hours work from a competing site. A 2 star rating will have a noticeable effect on Quality Score, the campaign cost per click will go up & the brand is suddenly struggling and has to figure out a way to get loads of positive reviews to cover the negative ones. If they had hundreds of reviews to start with then sabotage is a lot harder.
This is probably a good time to point out that reviewing your own business by pretending to be a customer is illegal in the UK