Once the domain of paid searches, Google is now testing the inclusion of seller ratings in organic searches too.
In a move aimed at showing businesses’ seller ratings in a much broader and far more accessible way, Google is looking into ways to merge certain paid search features into organic search results.
A recently introduces feature involves displaying star ratings in SERPs which are based around the site’s seller rating in Google’s own Merchant Centre.
Historically, seller ratings have been a feature of the search giant’s paid ads, therefore their inclusion in organic search is something that every SEO now needs to be aware of.
With many already scouring their regular sources for information about the test and its ramifications going forwards, here are some of the things we know so far:
Traditionally, seller ratings were reserved for paid ads, however the ratings themselves have been displayed minus the help of review rating structured data markup.
Any retailer with a product feed uploaded to Google’s Merchant Centre can have (potentially, at least) a seller rating.
These ratings, if a certain markup is used are capable of appearing in organic search results and, if the test proves successful and the feature rolled out on a wider scale, then knowing the contributing factors of a retailer’s seller rating will be vital.
Those ratings may be based on some of the following sources:
- Google Customer Reviews (An entirely free feature, collecting post-purchase feedback on a merchant’s behalf)
- Aggregated performance metrics from Google’s shopping research
- Reviews for individual store domains, from sources such as Google Search users but also, various other third party sources
If you are unsure exactly what your rating is, or if you are not sure if you even have one, now might be the best possible time to check, and here’s how to do just that.
To check if you have a seller rating for a specific territory, simply edit the following URL to replace www.example.com with the URL of your own homepage (and remove spaces in the query string)
https://www.google.com/ shopping/ ratings/ account/lookup?q=www.yoururl.com
The resulting page should display all the information you need about your online store and the seller rating it may (or may not) currently have. You can also fine-tune the data by country, as well as gain insight into where your reviews are coming from as this will be unique for every online retailer.
If you fail to see a seller ratings page load for your homepage, it means Google doesn’t have information for your store or it fails to meet the minimum seller thresholds. It is also important to remember this stage is little more than a testing phase in its early stages which, as analysts have rightly said, appears not yet ready for a wider rollout.
When the feature does reach that stage however, it might well prove to be a game-changer, both for users, the products they purchase and the stores they buy them from.