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Google Seller Ratings Update: All You Need to Know

If you use ratings, then you need to read this now.

So, it is now official; Trustpilot and Feefo, two of the biggest review companies, have announced that due to new Google review guidelines, you require a minimum of 150 reviews for your seller ratings to show – this has gone up from 30, representing a huge five-fold increase.

Don’t forget your ratings can be pro rata too, so that means 75 in six months etc. But here at Return, we are on hand to answer your questions.

Why is Google changing the rules on seller ratings?

Feefo and Trustpilot are reacting to a new rumoured guideline by Google to improve the stability and reliability of reviews. You can expect to see all the other review companies make similar announcements in the near future, if they haven’t already. However, there is no report of this on the Official Google Blog. Yet. But this doesn’t change the fact that Feefo and Trustpilot have noted some seller ratings dropping off already; this change is already in play.

What should I do if I’m going to lose my existing seller ratings?

Even though this is a pretty ruthless update, it is not game over. If you’re not meeting the threshold, you need to reach it quick time. I would suggest a nice email campaign to existing/previous customers encouraging them to share their reviews of your product or service. Make the process simple and quick. The fewer buttons they can click to submit, the better. Bear in mind, this is something you will have to keep on top of, because you will lose your ratings if you drop below 150 in the near future. Segment new customers into another email list and ask them to do the same, but be careful you don’t spam previous customers. Otherwise you will annoy them and they will just ignore you, or worse, post a negative review about your spamming!

What does the future hold for seller ratings?

It will be harder for companies to get seller ratings so easily, but you can get them sorted now. That means there will be fewer competitors with ratings as well. The silver lining here is if you act quickly, later on you can stand out by being one of the few with masses of ratings.

How do I check if I qualify for seller ratings?

Just log into your Feefo or Trustpilot account, or you can check by using this link followed by your domain name:

https://www.google.com/shopping/seller?q=yourdomain

So ours, for example, would be:

https://www.google.com/shopping/seller?q=returnondigital.com

There’s no denying, this is pretty drastic and a big shake-up in the digital world, especially for ecommerce clients. But never fear, if you create the right strategic plan, you will be able to take all of this in your stride.

On speaking to some of our clients this morning, the update has been a shock, but there are positive vibes all round and we are working with them to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

– “We’ll adapt by inviting more people to leave reviews so will be okay in the long run” – Adrian Cox, Director at Athleat.

Why do seller ratings matter?

Don’t let this change put you off even trying to tackle seller ratings, because they are hugely important. If you’re reading this and you think your business doesn’t need ratings, regardless of industry, I would advise to look into this ASAP and think about how to get your 150 reviews in place quickly.

Ratings are extremely important; the trust element they deliver is fantastic. On average, ratings on your PPC get a 17% higher CTR than the same ads without ratings. This is huge!

In the below example, one of our clients started seller ratings and after one month on the same ads we saw an 11% increase in CTR:

 

Impact of seller ratings on CTR

 

This in turn can help you lower your CPCs, as the Quality Score will be improved by the expected CTR increase. Reducing your CPCs will then improve your return on ad spend. What’s not to love?

You can read Feefo and Trustpilot’s official statements here and here.

We are an award winning SEO & PPC agency, and a newly promoted Google Premier Partner, so if you want any guidance, we would be happy to help.

Let me know your thoughts on the shake-up or how you think this could be tackled in the comments below, or you can tweet me @RachyPanda

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