May 30, 2013: Getting listed on Google AdWords Seller Ratings can have a host of benefits for the B2B ecommerce vendor; however this isn’t the easiest or most transparent of processes. You cannot opt in to Seller Ratings and it is not a readily available social extension through the AdWords interface. Instead, Seller Ratings consist of reviews from a select set of shopping and merchant portals across the web. Only these specific sites are recognized by Google merchant program and allow for their ratings to be shown in search results.
Finding these sites, getting reviews, and meeting with AdWords requirements can be tricky, so I’ve laid down some guidelines on how and where to get reviewed.
A few considerations:
- Your campaign must be opted in to Google search. Note that your reviews will principally appear in your Google paid listings but may also appear in your Google Wallet & G+ page.
- You must be actively serving ads on Google to take advantage of Seller Ratings. You can’t have paused or inactive campaigns and it’s not currently a component of Display advertising.
- You must provide paid goods or services, or your site must broker the exchange of paid goods and services.
- Your business must have at least 30 unique reviews, each from the past 12 months with an average score of four stars or higher.
For most, identifying the sites that Google accepts as a trusted can be a bit tricky (and even costly). To help with this last point, I’ve evaluated some of the review sites and options that might work best for your business.
Low or No Cost Review Portals
- Google Checkout
The quickest and simplest way to get Google-recognized ratings is (not surprisingly) to enable Google Checkout as a payment option on your site. Once the purchase has been completed, the shopper will then be given an opportunity to instantly submit a review.Please note that this means the shopper submits the review prior to receiving the product, so slow checkout process, price changes, hidden charges, etc. could impact the review before the customer receives your product.Reviews from Google Checkout are immediately accepted and will help you reach your 30 review threshold quickly. Since Google Checkout is so seamlessly integrated into the AdWords Seller Ratings, it should be your first and best choice to quickly get rated.
- Reseller Ratings
Reseller Ratings.com is another easy-to-use site—it does not directly integrate like Google Shopping does but it has many other benefits. It’s entirely free to use, and users can submit their stores to be considered for inclusion in the listings. With more than 50,000 stores in Reseller Rating’s database, it seems logical that most any site would be accepted here.Reseller Ratings also has a paid program where merchants can directly impact what their categories are and interact with reviewers.
Bizrate is one of the largest shopping aggregator sites on the web, and reviews from their users make up a large portion of AdWords Seller reviews. Bizrate boasts a free program (through ShopZilla) and a premium model where merchants can place items through paid or CPC listings. For our purposes here we only need a free account.
Paid Review & Niche Sites
The following sites should be considered if you’re willing to opt into a monthly subscription or a CPC model. Some of the sites may deal with certain geographic locations or product niches.
PriceGrabber is a huge aggregator of many different stores dealing with all types of merchandise. To have products listed in PG, you must opt into its CPC inclusion program for merchants. PG tends to work best for electronics and computers, but has a wide variety of listings and a huge audience. Many retailers can dramatically increase their reach by opting into their program.
Trustpilot is an open, community-based platform for sharing real reviews of shopping experiences online. While Trustpilot is a paid inclusion program, it offers a free trial to get started. It easily integrates with Facebook for ease of use. Trustpilot (unlike most other sites listed here) also highlights retailers with its lowest average reviews as well.
Retailers must request inclusion for ePinions, which deals primary with electronics and consumer goods. It’s a little different as it also allows for reviews for service providers, shopping portals, auction sites and other niche providers. Should you fall into one of these categories ePinions should definitely be one of the first places you check.
Users can request for stores to be added to Viewpoints, which deals mostly with home goods, appliances, and health & beauty. One interesting thing that makes Viewpoints unique is that is has sections specifically for credit card and personal finance.
Reviewcentre offers free registration for reciprocal linking, or through request; it primarily deals with European-based retailers.
There are many other sites that offer reviews; I invite you to get out there and investigate which options might work best for you.
Remember: It can take time for the reviews to be recognized by Google and to begin seeing actual ratings next to your paid listing. On average, this can take anywhere from two weeks to two months, but, once you reach 30 reviews, your ratings should automatically appear, and you’ll be able to reap the benefits of having a well-reviewed site.