How to Get Star Ratings in Google Search Results

How to Get Star Ratings in Google Search Results

Those beautiful yellow stars that appear just under page titles in search results are a shining opportunity to tell searchers that you are trustworthy. And you’d be surprised at how easily you can implement them on your site!

Some companies see an increase in clickthrough-rate as great as 20%-30% after implementing star ratings in their search results. It works like a referral, in a sense. In the same way that people are more likely to purchase a product a friend recommends, users understand that stars are representative of someone’s experiences with a product or brand.

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Searchers are more likely to trust a website listing with a favorable star rating than a website without one. It’s a confidence (and clickthrough) booster!

Let’s take a look at the three ways that you can add star ratings to search results for your website, location, or products.

Branded Local Searches

Google reviews on your Google+ account are the easiest way to achieve stars in branded searches — that is, searches for your business. To implement star ratings in this way, all you have to do is have reviews on your Google+ page!

stars_1

The number of reviews you need to begin showing stars seems to be something Google is changing relatively often.  At this time, Google is requiring at least five reviews before showing ratings in searches.

Now, this does not mean you should start reviewing your website from a bunch of different accounts! Google has gotten pretty smart about reviews, and notices when things are out of sorts… or when you get a bunch of reviews all in the same half hour period.

You should also avoid incentivizing Google+ reviews as this will lead to an unnatural number of reviews. Not only does this look bad to Google, it also looks bad to potential customers. Most users pick up on fake or paid reviews that seem a little too positive.

Instead of bribing customers or making reviews up, actively encourage customers to leave their feedback. Ecommerce companies should follow up transactions with a thank you email that includes a link to Google+ reviews. Other companies have successfully encouraged reviews by highlighting recent positive reviews in their emails. Customers will feel important for being noticed, and this will encourage them to review you.

Everyone likes to be recognized – even if it’s for recognizing you!

Organic Searches – Product Ratings

Another option that can arguably have the largest impact on your results is organic review markup code. Adding this language to a single product page will allow that product to show stars in search results. This is especially ideal for ecommerce websites.

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First, copy the code listed below:

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Product”>
<img itemprop=”image” src=”image-link.jpg” alt=”Product Name“/>
<span itemprop=”name”>Product Name</span>
<div itemprop=”aggregateRating itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/AggregateRating”>
<span itemprop=”ratingValue”>4.5</span>
out of <span itemprop=”bestRating”>5</span>
based on <span itemprop=”ratingCount”>301</span> user ratings.
</div>

Paste the code onto the product page you’d like to show stars in search results. Don’t forget to customize the bolded part of the code to display the language and data you desire!

Once you’re done, make sure you:

  1. Check your work with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.  Google will let you know if there are any mistakes in your code.
  2. Resubmit your XML sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools to ensure that Google indexes your changes as soon as possible!
  3. Check your success in a week or so through an organic search rather than a site search. (Site searches will often show misleading results!)

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Fun fact: Google is not requesting proof of accuracy of these statements at this time. This seems like a divergence from the search engine that wants to provide accurate information on everything from content to location.

We expect that Google will eventually update its policy to require some kind of authentication. For this reason, we do not recommend falsifying your review information. However, this does mean you will not be penalized if this information is not immediately updated when new reviews are posted.

With this method, your website’s homepage will not show stars in search results based on this code. Unfortunately, Google announced in mid-2014 that it will not look favorably at rich snippits on the homepage since it seemed like an “unnatural” practice.

Pursuing Google+ reviews is the easiest way to at least ensure that you have star ratings on the homepage for branded searches, and for B2B companies that do not have product pages to take advantage of.

Paid Search Stars

Getting stars on your AdWords ads is the most difficult to achieve. Google automates this process, and you have very limited control over whether stars appear with your ads or not.

Google uses specific third party review sites as a means of determining your star rating. On these sites, you must have at least 30 unique reviews from the past year, and the aggregate rating must be a 3.5 or higher.

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Here are some of the third party review sites that Google recognizes:

  • Trust Pilot
  • Feefo
  • Reevoo
  • Reviewcentre.co.uk
  • Bizrate – through Shopzilla

As I mentioned, Google automates this process. So, it is unlikely, but possible, to meet all the requirements and still not see stars on your ads.

Let us know how this works for you!

To get stars in search results there are three different methods: Google Plus reviews, code language and third party reviews. Each is useful in different circumstances.  Try them out and let us know how they worked for you!

  • Ahad

    tnx

  • Kanak Malik

    Although its a neat code but I need to know one thing….where should I insert this code?…. I mean..should I insert this code in Body area or in head tag…??

  • Krista

    You’re welcome!

  • Krista

    Hi Kanak! You can put it in the body tag. Thanks!

  • http://wpuidev.com Ali Sajjad

    Hi Krista, i want to know something. when i search my book on google with site:urduinpage.com, then i found my star rating with search results, i have attached a screenshot.
    http://prntscr.com/8awu1j

    but when i search my publish book post by name,i cant found any rating below my post search result. see below screenshot.
    http://prntscr.com/8awv5r

    Please help to resolve this problem.

  • Carl Weil

    I found i had 4 bad 1 star reviews from students who failed class. I asked a handful of students to add their reviews and 9 did in 4 days – google looked at the 4 one star and 7five star and gave us a 3.1. Two more 5 stars were added by students but rating stayed at 3.1 Is there a number of days I should tell students to wait before more review us to increase rating? thank you for your advice

  • http://www.yucelphoto.com Yucel Yalim

    Got an example of what that code looks like implemented? Thanks.

  • JP
  • Amit Sharma

    I’m in packer movers business. I do the same but rating is not showing google search result when i search for a term related to my page, only page title, url and desc. showing but it show rating when I search like site:xyz.com/abc.html . Can u explain whats wrong with it

  • Amit Sharma

    Hi Ali
    Same problem is with my website. Did u find any solution. If yes, then please share with me.

  • http://www.BibleBible.com Audio Bible

    I do *not* see any stars in the organic Google search results for any of my products. I did test the URL in the Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool

    http://www.biblebible.com/king-james-bible-on-cd-by-alexander-scourby-voice-only-on-62-cds/

    Any suggestions as to what might be missing?

    Please let me know.

  • http://www.BibleBible.com Audio Bible

    I did double check things on my product pages, a few of them have stars rating, maybe 1 out of every 8 to 10 product pages, so a very low number. But I am not sure what is causing the problem. Can you tell me why?
    https://www.google.com/search?q=biblebible.com&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=site:biblebible.com&start=200

  • http://wpuidev.com Ali Sajjad

    Hi Amit
    I cant find any helpful solution find yet. i had talk to some of responsible developers, they answered me that, we cant tell you the exact time, when we show your rich snippets in our search results.
    and then i think that, when your alexa rank less than 1,000,00. then more chances to show.

  • Todd B.

    Shopper Approved is another Google Approved Aggregator their average review conversion is 42% which is way above the average of the competition at a fraction of the cost.

  • http://educationafter12th.com/ Education after 12th

    Very Nice Article,I will be more thankful.I have 10 reviews but its not showing star rating in google plz check it.http://educationafter12th.com

  • https://gulfstatesoftware.com/contact-us/ Gulf State Software

    I don’t know, afraid to do anything , maybe too much testing google can block my site 0:

  • Jack

    Hi Krista, we have recently added author ratings to our blog articles by enabling rich snippets for ratings, but for some reason the stars are not showing in search results. One of our articles: http://www.carsapproved.com.au/isuzu-dmax-2016-review/. Search for “2016 dmax review”. Are we missing something?

  • http://www.problogbooster.com/ Vinayak Sutar-Patil

    I am joyful to read this post, its an attractive one. Thanks for this amazing post… I am always looking for quality posts and articles and this is what I found here, I hope you will be adding more in future. Thanks..

  • Mohamad Amaayoud Ait

    thanx

  • jason

    do you know why i would only have a 4.6 star rating when all reviews are a 5 star?

  • Sairam

    Hi i want to improve SEO for my website http://www.geoinsyssoft.com/. Kindly guide me how to do..Thanks..

  • http://www.officialryguy.com Ryan Anderson

    Hi Jack, I was just getting started on this, and I believe the issue is that they are not product pages you are adding them to.

  • http://www.officialryguy.com Ryan Anderson

    Nice site, but the pages contain no products. This article specifically covers getting stars on your product pages. The schema she provided was specific to that type of content.

  • http://www.officialryguy.com Ryan Anderson

    You seem to sell a service, not a product. You’ll need to refer to this –> https://schema.org/Service

  • http://www.officialryguy.com Ryan Anderson

    You’ll need to refer to this since you sell a service, not a product –> https://schema.org/Service

  • http://www.survivalboards.com/ Kevin 75931

    For some reason my article rating stars disappeared. I am using GD star rating on wordpress. No matter what I try I can not get them back on google results.

  • http://www.mediatools.cl Equipo MediaTools

    Excelente articulo.

  • Anonymous Hackers

    Hello i read your post. But i have some issue while i am implement schema code on my website. Google doesn’t show review and rating of my website in its search result. Can you explain me, why schema code does not work in my website homepage. Or its only work for product rating. My website for education purpose, but code does not work why ?? Please explain me in detail why i am facing this issue. This is my website
    http://www.anonymoushackers.net/

  • Patrick Man

    Looks like you have a typo (missing quote) in line 4 of your “copy the code listed below” code. You’d probably save people a lot of headache if you corrected that Krista. Thx!