Mar 11, 2014 113 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Google has come up with a new format for search ads that provides detailed consumer opinion data. Google announced in a blog post, that it is planning to add consumer rating annotations to Google AdWords. The extension includes ratings, reviews and social endorsements for businesses in conjunction to the ad.

Google Introduces Consumer Rating Annotations to Bring Trust and Transparency to Search Ads

Why Consumer Rating Annotations:

Early testings have shown that consumer rating annotations make your ads more useful to potential customers and improve the ad performance. They highlight one or more strongly rated aspects of your business and increase click through rates by an average of 10%.

Many advertisers reported positive impact of this format in the beta period. One of them was Brian Borkowski, Director of Digital Marketing at Farmers Insurance Group. Borkowski said in a statement to Google,

"Consumer ratings annotations help us stand out from competitors and attract new customers. When we looked at our ads that displayed these ratings, we saw an increase in CTR, which speaks to the awareness, trust and impact from this format."

How the consumer rating annotation work:

AdWords runs surveys through Google Consumer Surveys and samples thousands of opinions on each business. The survey begins by finding out whether or not you are a customer of that particular brand and then goes on with how satisfied or dis-satisfied you are with the service. To keep the ratings current Google manages to regularly update the survey data, thus avoiding some of the potential risks which comes with other review platforms.

How ratings are calculated:

  • Google calculates a benchmark score for each industry using the survey data.
  • It uses this score to rate each company for all industry categories.
  • Benchmarks vary from industry to industry, so ratings should not be compared across industries.

The scores are not click-able but users can click on the ads to reach the landing page. If you click on “Ratings,” you will see the survey scores in more details. The annotations are specific to countries and are available only in English. This means if you are searching on, you will see ads with consumer ratings from only UK brands.

The annotations are coming up very soon for ads in US, UK and Canada and will be expanded to more advertisers in the future. Google is inviting advertisers to fill up a form if they are interested to include consumer rating annotations with their search ads.

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Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal is the Editor-in-Chief of PageTraffic Buzz. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic Buzz as one of the well know digital marketing blog.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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