Google search star ratings, better known as Google stars, are effective attention-grabbers on the search results page. Unfortunately, the number of results is limited on Google's first page and it could be hard for online shoppers to distinguish your website from others. Here are some tips to highlight your shop and stand out in the search results. Don’t forget to download our whitepaper at the end of the article!
SEO (search engine optimisation) refers to unpaid or “organic” results in Google search. The aim is to design a website with the most relevant search terms so it can appear as high as possible on the first Google search results page.
Rich results (Rich snippets)
More information about your shop can be shown alongside a standard search result.
In this example, the stars are added to the result. The umbrella term for all additional information within an organic Google search is “rich snippets”. This means that the standard “snippet” has been “enriched”, or enhanced. The additional information includes breadcrumbs, photos (e.g. for recipes) or, as is the case here, ratings in star form.
So you have a "4.4" rating. That's great! To have this (potentially) displayed in Google, you have to add this information it to the source code of your webpage. When doing this you'll have to "mark" it with structured data. These "markers" are tags that categorise some of the important text of a webpage. They are standardised across the web and come from schema.org, an initiative to help structure the web and make it easier for search engines to pull out the most relevant information from a website, which can then be displayed in their search results.
For ratings, the type is specified as “reviewRating” and the scale is provided (worst rating 1 and best rating 5). This means that the actual rating (4.50) can be interpreted (out of 5 stars).
This identification method allows for various reviews and ratings to be processed. Whether it is the seller in general or a certain product that is being evaluated is of marginal importance to the structuring in the source code. This simply needs to be clear from the page content. In addition, according to Google’s guidelines, the rating should refer to a special product or service.
Rich snippets are available worldwide.
Local results are a special form of organic search. They can be accessed via the “Maps” search function; alternatively, they are shown in the universal search if Google identifies an attempt to carry out a local search (e.g. a search term along with a town or city name).
In this case, the ratings come from Google itself, i.e. ratings for a local firm can be collected via an entry in My Business (formerly Google Places).Google will no longer show ratings via third-party pages.
With the help of structured data, ratings for a local firm can be evaluated like other types of ratings; however, this is then not shown in the local search but rather only within the classic search results.
BONUS: For information on getting your star-ratings to appear in the search results, download our free whitepaper below.