News Byte: Google Introduces Consumer Ratings Annotations

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Google headquarters in California.
Google headquarters in California.

Google announced its plans to introduce consumer ratings annotations to Google AdWords in an official company blog post.

The search engine giant says consumer rating annotations bring to light industry-specific ratings—such as an airline's reward program—based on Google Consumer Surveys. The survey asks self-identified customers to rate a combination of general and industry-specific categories.

For example, consumers evaluating an insurance company might be asked to rate their level of overall satisfaction, as well as their claims handling experience, according to Google. AdWords then compares consumer responses to an industry benchmark score to come up with an overall ratings score. Companies can show up to three of their best ratings at the bottom of a search ad. Consumers can also click on the “Ratings” link within the ad to get a more holistic view of a company's score.

According to Google, beta advertisers have an average click-through rate increase of 10%. All advertisers will be able to leverage the service when Google officially implements the new format within the "next few days."

While consumer ratings annotations are new, the practice of leveraging consumer reviews isn't. Eighty-five percent of consumers read online local business reviews, and 73% say positive customer reviews make them trust a business more, according to the 2013 “Local Consumer Reviews Survey” by local search engine marketing service provider BrightLocal. Furthermore, consumers may not need to read more than three ratings. The same survey found that 67% of consumers read six surveys or less. 

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