Articles in The 'reviews' Tag

July 3 2013

Google Introduces Review Extensions

by Anne Garcia

Google has added a new ad extension format called Review Extensions, saying that they are a way for advertisers to incorporate positive endorsements, ratings, or awards from reputable third party sites. The reviews will be scrutinized to confirm their validity and must comply with AdWords policies.

The Review Extension within the ad will link to the third party site, where there must be a reference to the review. Clicks from the Review Extension will not be charged to the advertiser.

Google said that in two rounds of testing, they saw a 10% lift in click-through rate across 250+ advertisers and 50 million impressions.

Review Extensions differ from Seller Rating Extensions in that Seller Rating Extensions are reviews from the advertiser’s customers. Review Extensions should be from publications or other third party reputable sites.

Review Extensions are available via Beta globally, in English only. In order to implement the Beta, advertisers must contact their AdWords representative. There is a 67 maximum character limit for Review Extensions, which includes the name of the publication.

Below is a screen shot that Google provided of a text ad with Review Extensions.

September 12 2011

Making the Most Out of your Testimonials

by Michael Bergbauer

Online testimonials are a great way to market your business. Fortunately, you have a number of options and venues to solicit and display testimonials and reviews to promote your website and business.

  • Local Review Sites and Directories: These are great, classic ways to begin collecting testimonials. Directories like Google Places and Yelp tend to attract testimonials on their own, without as much promotion on your part, when compared to other testimonial collection methods. As an added benefit, Google tends to aggregate the reviews from these sites and incorporate them into search results. If you keep your accounts on these sites active and are able to collect numerous testimonials, you may improve your positions in the SERPs.
  • Facebook Profile: Facebook now offers an easy and straightforward way to collect testimonials. When you set up a business profile, you will get a “Reviews” tab on your page. Make sure this tab is visible to visitors and encourage your customers to leave reviews via your other social media accounts (including prompts on your Facebook wall). This is a great way to easily collect reviews that you can use or display elsewhere, such as a testimonial page on your main website.
  • YouTube Reviews: Video testimonials are a dynamic way to show off the quality of your product or service. Ask customers who are taping their testimonials to share a link with you, so you can promote the video through your own channels. Soliciting video testimonials via the web may be trickier than asking for written ones. If you have a lot of face-to-face business with clients, ask if they would be willing to let you tape their testimonial for your YouTube channel.  

It’s important to remember that if you decide to make a strong push toward cultivating testimonials, you must be able to respond to your customers. Thank customers for taking the time to give you a testimonial, and always be sure to address negative comments, should they arise. If potential customers can see that you took steps to remedy problems with another customer, it can make a negative review look quite positive.

January 15 2009

“Noresults” Reviews and Cost Comparison Shopping: Web Spam in 2009

by Marjory Meechan

The best pages for customer conversions on a website are the ones that provide the content that the user is looking for. Content is king. Good copywriting, as well as a well-designed site that provides the user with the exact page they are looking for is the key to getting more customer conversions, whether you are driving traffic to your site with search engines or through the new social media marketing channels.

Providing quality content has become increasingly important for effective internet marketing. Google’s algorithm updates and personalized search efforts at the end of 2008 made that clear and there is no reason to believe that this will be changing in 2009. To start off the New Year, Google’s Matt Cutts asked for user feedback on what new web spam Google could target to further improve their results this year. The response was overwhelming, with many good ideas for Google improvements submitted (see the comments for Matt’s summary). From among all the ideas, Google chose to put their first focus for 2009 on making the content in their results pages even more relevant by working on ways to remove or demote “noresults” reviews and cost comparison web spam shopping pages in the search engine results pages and I, for one, couldn’t be happier.

We’ve all seen these “noresults” pages. You type your key phrase into Google (usually something quite specific) and among the list of results you find a listing that reads something like this:

Search for “insert your key phrase here” Find “insert your key phrase here” reviews and price comparisons at

Search results for “insert your key phrase here” — Big Online Shopping Site has reviews for “insert your key phrase here”.

However, when you click on the link you find that the site doesn’t really have content to match your query. You find either there are no reviews or they never really had any content matching that phrase in the first place. They just have their system set up to automatically generate pages for popular search queries to try to capture your click. I’m not alone in finding this particularly frustrating. Besides concerns about the accuracy of the Google Maps results, this was perhaps the most popular complaint from Matt’s readers. In fact, many reviewers felt that this should be extended beyond Review and Cost Comparison Shopping sites to large retailers that also display results that have basically no content.

What this means is that as visitors, we can look forward to even better and more relevant results from Google. For retailers, this means that another old “trick” for luring visitors onto your site will be biting the dust and more than ever the quality of the content on your site will be first and foremost in determining your rankings in Google’s results pages.

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