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Another Google AdWords Ad Extension – Reviews in Ads

Google seems to be offering yet another option in the realm of AdWords ad extensions.  Yesterday I noticed Ratings displayed as line 5 of the AdWords ad text. (click on link to see full-size image)

This appears to be a new, unlisted product, as I haven’t seen it discussed on Google’s Ad Innovations Page. We’ve previously discussed the benefits of SiteLinks and Product Extensions (Plusbox), and the various pros and cons of those offerings. This product seems to dovetail with a recent announcement regarding their partnering with Bazaarvoice on this initiative.

The line 5 font appears to be formatted as a “grayed” line of text, which strays from their default black and/or blue hyper-linked formats. Only certain advertisers seem to have the listings, while others seem to be displaying other ad extensions, and still others without a line 5 altogether. Clicking on the “rated” hyper-link within the ad extension displays a list of recent reviews from a collection of popular comparison shopping engines, such as; BizRate.com and Epinions.com. (ex. here)

I personally like the look and feel of these new ratings ad extensions. We’re seeing these ratings for a number of our managed clients without any action on our part, or the part of our clients. Indeed, we’re not aware that permission has been sought to display these ratings, though perhaps none is needed (or exists in current Google Merchant Center / AdWords Terms and Conditions). It’s too early to know whether these ads are here to stay, and how beneficial they will be from a CTR perspective. After asking a number of colleagues, I’m finding it to be targeted to a very small test audience. Anyone else seeing ratings in ads?

  • Matthew Mierzejewski
    Matthew Mierzejewski is EVP of SEO at RKG.
  • Comments
    12 Responses to “Another Google AdWords Ad Extension – Reviews in Ads”
    1. CarrieE says:

      I am seeing them as well, but rather than showing 4.5 out of 5 stars copy as in your example, I see Google displaying text “website.com is highly rated on ReviewSite (812 reviews)” The reviews # is blue and hpyerlinked and I have seen a couple of different review sites come up as to the source of reviews. It is interesting that they are testing out star rating vs. # of reviews.

    2. mike says:

      interesting. Nice catch Matt. Besides potential effects on quality score, i wonder if the review scores themselves will affect QI?

    3. I am not seeing them so what you said might be true that it might really be just for a small targeted audience.

    4. Matthew Mierzejewski Matthew says:

      Thanks everyone for you comments.

      Carrie, is what you described similar to the second ad for VisionDirect, listed above the Organic results?

      It appears to me that different rules apply to ads in the “promoted”, yellow slots vs Right-Hand-Rail ads. We also see this with almost all of the other Google Ad Extensions (product, location, etc.)

      If so, it would be neat to see which review site they are using more often, or if they give preference to reviews place on Google Products vs. other CSEs.

    5. Ryan says:

      Do we yet know if they are costing the advertisers as regular clicks? I mean, I’m all for Google testing out some new products on my clients, but I am NOT for them doing so at the click expense of my client’s budget if their has not been permission, or proven results. Especially since these links appear to be “wild card” for reviews, but don’t go where the searcher was intended to go per the ad target.

      Also, my question would be “if someone clicks on the review link, is it pulling them further away from my site, or drawing them deeper into the purchase decision / funnel?” I mean, if they were intending to click on my ad, clicked on reviews instead, and then clicked back out, would they be inclined to click through to my ad/site? or would they suddenly be more inclined to check out my competitors? or would they even remember whose ad they’d originally intended to click through when they were distracted by the review link.

      Again, I’m all for the new prospect technology… just throwing out some first thoughts.

      That stir anyone up? Am i off in a field by myself? Is it lonely in this field…?

      :-)

    6. Brandon says:

      Interesting. I have also noticed the “Show products from” which displays products from their Google Base account I’m guessing. It’s nice to be on the cutting edge, assuming your competition hasn’t beat you to it.

    7. I personally like the look and feel of these new ratings ad extensions. We’re seeing these ratings for a number of our managed clients without any action on our part, or the part of our clients.

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