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Google Conducts Seller Ratings Test In Organic Search

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SEO experts use different methods to get higher rankings for their websites in the search results. Some professional SEO experts use organic search methods separately from paid search strategies, while others use both. In one of Google’s recent tests, the company merged paid ads features into organic search to show businesses’ seller ratings in regular search snippets.

The tests involved star ratings displayed in the search engine results pages (SERPs) based on the site’s rating in Google Merchant Center.

What Is A Seller Rating?

Seller ratings are from the reviews from Google and other partner review platforms. They do not necessarily have to be about any product or service in particular, so SEOs do not need to get a Google Merchant Center account, nor do they need to be a shopping advertiser. These ratings are eligible to be shown on the search network and display in a business’s paid listing on a scale of one to five stars. Moreover, ratings can improve search ad click-through rate by more than 10 per cent, according to the Google Ads blog.

However, before seller ratings could appear with a business’s search ads as an extension, SEOs must first garner 150 unique reviews and at a rating of at least 3.5 stars. Professional SEO experts can use third-party sites to gather more reviews, and looking for a list of independent review sites helps a lot to make this possible.

What’s more interesting is that Google generates informative and helpful snippets after the review in the SERPs, provided that their algorithm systems think that it is a crucial piece of information. For instance, Google may display the returns policy of an e-commerce website after the seller rating. Other shops may show their average delivery time, availability of their products, number of reviews, and other relevant information to the business – all these encourage users to click on the listing.

The seller ratings are a feature that one could only find in Google’s paid ads, so its crossover into organic search is a huge deal for many SEOs. Here is some crucial information about the test and Google’s possible decisions for the future of search.

Google Seller Ratings In Organic Search

Getting the seller ratings feature in organic search could drastically change SEO due to two reasons. For starters, seller ratings were initially reserved for paid ads. Secondly, the pages were showing star ratings without depending on the review rating structured data markup.

Star ratings only appear in organic results with the help of specific markup. If the page is not using the markup, it would mean that the seller ratings were generated from the same sources, like Google Ads.

Therefore, the SEO community must be aware of this test because sites can have seller ratings without buying Google Ads.

If Google launches this update on a wider scale, SEOs will have to determine the factors involved in calculating a website’s seller rating.

Seller ratings on Google depend based one or more of the sources below:

  • Google-led shopping research’s aggregated performance metrics
  • Store domain’s shopping reviews, including reviews from Google Search users and other third-party sources
  • Google Customer Reviews, a free program that allows users to review their purchase experience

Any retailer who uploaded a product feed to Google Merchant Center can have a seller rating. For SEOs who are not aware of their seller rating, or whether or not they have one, this is the best time to look it up.

How To Check If A Business Has A Seller Rating

One can check their seller rating for a specific country by editing the URL below, replacing “www.example.com” with their homepage link:

https://www.google.com/shopping/ratings/account/lookup?q=www.example.com

After the page finishes loading, Google will show the information about the store and its seller rating. There is also a country selector that allows SEOs to narrow down the data they need by country.

Once SEOs have seen their seller rating, they can investigate it and search for the sources of the reviews, as it will vary from one retailer to another. From there, they can get insights into where they need to acquire reviews to maintain a satisfactory seller rating for their business.

If Google does not have information for their business or if their store does not meet the minimum seller rating thresholds, a seller rating likely wouldn’t load for their homepage.

However, all SEO experts should keep in mind that this is still a test, and it seems that it is still in the early stages.

Some SEOs posted on Twitter to voice out their opinions about Google’s new test.

Brodie Clark, who was the first to report on this test, described it as one of the most interesting organic feature developments recently. He said he spent more time looking into the new Seller Rating test and found out that the application is broader than what he expected.

Clark attached a screenshot of a seller rating displayed for Apple’s Wikipedia article, which was inaccurate since Wikipedia is not an e-commerce website.

In another Twitter post, he gave an example where Google used the retailer’s website rating even though reviews for a specific product were not available. For the page, they used Product Structured Data. Google decided to include the Site Rating with the snippet.

These tweets indicate that Google is not yet ready to launch this feature on a wider scale. However, SEOs still need to be alert and look forward to it in the future.

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