Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is defined as a method of placing online advertisements on search engine result pages. On Google, for example, this paid results method is called AdWords: when the result is clicked on, the advertiser is charged a certain amount depending on several factors. This system provides a rapid increase of visits to a website without any technical issues. Here are some tips to help you display the stars on your search results.
Alongside the additional information in the organic search results, AdWords also allows various other pieces of information to be displayed.
In this picture, the stars are part of Google AdWords’ ad extensions. With ad extensions, information such as additional pages (site links), location or telephone numbers can also be added to an ad.
The stars are added by the automatic ad extension “seller rating”. Unlike manual extensions, automatic ad extensions cannot be set directly in an AdWords account. Here, the link works by domain specification. A domain’s collected reviews and ratings are sent to Google. If the domain in an AdWords ad corresponds to a domain with ratings, the stars can be shown.
The prerequisites are:
- alignment of the campaign towards the Google search network
- user search must be carried out on google.com / co.uk / de / co.nz / com.au / com.jg / fr / nl
- there must be at least 150 reviews and ratings from different users within the past 12 months
- overall rating must be at least a 3.5 out of 5
- at least 10 reviews must be in the user’s target language
All existing reviews and ratings (possibly from various review providers) are aggregated. How many and which reviews and ratings there are can be checked here:
Seller ratings are also shown in Google Shopping. Google Shopping is a price comparison platform; since 2013 it is no longer part of unpaid results, but is controlled via AdWords and PPC (pay-per-click).
This form of ad, which shows products with their name, images, price and availability, is a product listing ad. First, advertisers need to open a Google Merchant Center account and upload their product list in order to provide Google with the appropriate information. The Merchant Center must then be linked to the existing AdWords account. Selecting the “shopping ad” campaign type allows product ads to be displayed.
Even more prominent within the shopping ads outlined above are product ratings (here, in orange). Once again the reviews and ratings have to be given to Google, and the Google stars can then be shown for products with ratings. All existing ratings are calculated to form an average star rating.
The prerequisites for display are, however, less strict:
- selection of the campaign as Google Shopping
- at least three reviews or ratings
- available in US, UK, Germany, and France
All product ratings are shown on the detailed product page (e.g. if someone clicks on the stars). Product ads can also be shown in the universal search.
Don't forget to download our free whitepaper below, which goes into more detail about getting your star ratings into Google AdWords.