A Guide To Star Ratings On Google And How They Work – 19coders

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The elusive 5-star overview was once one factor you probably can solely flaunt in a rotating evaluations half in your site.

But proper now, Google has pulled these stars out of the shadows and choices them entrance and center all through branded SERPs and previous.

Consider that 48% of buyers gained’t even look twice at a enterprise with decrease than 4-stars.

Star scores may assist firms earn perception from potential purchasers, improve native search rankings, and improve conversions.

This is your info to how they work.

Stars and SERPs

Star scores on Google are powered by consumer evaluations from completely completely different properties, and Google makes use of an algorithm and a imply to resolve what variety of stars are displayed.

These scores appear on a scale of 1 to five stars.

When a person searches Google, they might come all through star scores on commonplace blue hyperlink listings, commercials, rich outcomes like recipe taking part in playing cards, native pack outcomes, third-get collectively overview web sites, and on app retailer outcomes.

John Mueller not too way back confirmed that Google doesn’t situation star scores or purchaser evaluations into internet search rankings. However, Google is apparent that star scores have an effect on native search outcomes and rankings:


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“Google review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’ local ranking.”

Even though they don’t appear to be a score situation for pure search, star scores can operate a necessary conversion part, serving to you present social proof and assemble credibility.

Here’s what the a number of kinds of star-rating outcomes look like in Google, and the way they work on each itemizing type.

Google star rating post with star ratings present in search engine.Screenshot from SERPs, Google, August 2021

Websites can stand out from their opponents by getting stars to current up spherical their pure search outcomes itemizing pages.


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It was solely not too way back that Google started testing star scores in pure search.

How to Get Google Stars on Organic SERPs

If you want stars to current up in your pure search outcomes, add schema markup to your site.

Learn how to do that inside the video below:

As the video components out, you need exact evaluations to get your structured info markup to current.

Then you’ll be capable of work collectively along with your enchancment group to enter the code in your web site that signifies your frequent rating, highest, lowest, and entire rating rely.

Average rating schema markup example.Screenshot JSON-LD script on Google Developers, August 2021

Once you add the rich snippet to your web site there’s no clear timeline for when they might start exhibiting inside the SERPs, that’s as much as Google.

When you’re executed, you’ll be capable of confirm your work with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

Adding schema is strongly impressed. But even with out it, in the event you occur to private a retail retailer and have scores, Google ought to current your star scores inside the search engine outcomes.

They do this to ensure searchers are getting entry to a variety of outcomes. Google says:

“If you have structured data markup on your website, your products will automatically show in free listings (with the exception of the Shopping tab) without directly participating in the feature.”

If you want star scores to current up on Shopping Ads, you’ll need to pay for that.

Paid Ads and Google Stars

Google Shopping ads about shoes with star ratings present.Screenshot from SERPs commercials, Google, August 2021
Paid search text ad for Amazon showing star ratings.Screenshot from SERPs commercials, Google, July 2021

When Google Stars appear in paid search commercials they’re usually known as seller ratings, “an automated extension type that showcases advertisers with high ratings.”


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These can appear in textual content material commercials, procuring commercials (as seen above), and free listings. Both the star rating and the general number of votes or evaluations are displayed.

How to Get Google Stars on Paid Ads

To participate in free listings, sellers need to do two things:

  • Follow the entire required policies spherical personally identifiable data, spam, malware, approved requirements, and additional.
  • Submit a feed through Google service supplier center, or have structured info markup on their site (as described inside the earlier half).

And as soon as extra, some ecommerce sellers who don’t want structured info markup ought to have their content material materials current up inside the SERPs.

For textual content material commercials and procuring commercials to current star scores, sellers are often required to have at least 100 evaluations inside the closing twelve months.

Google treats evaluations on a per-nation basis, and so the minimal overview threshold of 100 moreover applies solely to at least one space at a time.

For star scores to appear on a Canadian ecommerce agency’s commercials, as an illustration, they’d need to have obtained a minimal of 100 evaluations from inside Canada inside the closing yr.


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Google considers evaluations from their very personal Google Customer Reviews, and moreover from permitted third-get collectively affiliate overview web sites, which makes it easier for sellers to satisfy the minimal overview threshold yearly. Google moreover requests:

  • The space that has scores need to be the similar as a result of the one which’s seen inside the advert.
  • A evaluation evaluation of your web site need to be carried out by Google or its companions.
  • The evaluations included need to be regarding the providers or merchandise being purchased.

Finally, Google offers a (truly difficult) requirement stating that:

“Additionally, both of the following criteria must be met: Average, composite, rating of 3.5 or more stars for Text Ads. Currently, Google can show seller ratings if the average rating is less than 3.5 stars.”

Basically, paid advertisers ought to meet a minimal number of stars for vendor scores to even appear on their commercials.

This helps higher-prime quality advertisers stand out from the opponents.

Local Pack Results and Google Stars

Star ratings on local search results in Google.Screenshot from SERPs native pack, Google, August 2021

Local firms have a handful of decisions for his or her enterprise to appear on Google by way of Google Maps, a Google My Business internet web page, and additional – all of which can current star scores.


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Google would possibly mixture evaluations from other local review sites in your native enterprise properties with Google.

It can take as much as two weeks to get new evaluations to current in your basic score.

How to Get Google Stars on Local Search Results

Customers need to depart evaluations instantly in your native enterprise properties, and completely different native overview websites.

Google encourages enterprise householders to solicit evaluations from their purchasers, along with best practices like:

  • Asking your purchasers to depart you a overview and making it easy for them to perform that by providing a hyperlink to your overview pages.
  • Making overview prompts desktop and cell-nice.
  • Replying to purchaser evaluations (ensure you’re a verified provider on Google first).
  • Being optimistic you don’t present incentives for evaluations.

Once purchasers are actively leaving evaluations, Google My Business profile householders have quite a lot of decisions to help them manage these:

Page on how to manage reviews on Google.Screenshot from GMB Help, Google, August 2021

Rich Results, Like Recipes, and Google Stars

Tofu recipe results on Google with star ratings present.Screenshot from search for [tofu recipe], Google, August 2021

Everybody’s gotta eat, and we now have a great time meals in some methods — one amongst which is recipe blogs.

While consuming locations rely further on native evaluations, pure search outcomes and even paid commercials, meals bloggers search to have their recipes rated.


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Similar to completely different types of evaluations, recipe taking part in playing cards in search outcomes current the everyday overview rating and the general number of evaluations.

The finish consequence has flip right into a point of contention among the many many meals working a weblog neighborhood, since solely three recipes per search could possibly be seen on Google desktop outcomes (like confirmed inside the image above), and 4 on cell.

These coveted spots will entice 75% of the clicks, leaving anyone who hasn’t mastered on-line purchaser evaluations inside the mud.

That implies that the usual of the recipe isn’t basically driving these outcomes.

How to Get Google Stars on Recipe Results

Like the steps to have stars appear on pure blue-hyperlink listings, meals bloggers and recipe websites wish to add schema to their site to make sure that star scores to current.

However, it’s not so simple as itemizing the everyday and the general number of scores. Developers ought to look at Google’s instructions for recipe markup. There is every required and actually useful markup:


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Required Markup for Recipes

  • Name of the recipe.
  • Image of the recipe.

Recommended Markup for Recipes

  • Aggregate rating.
  • Author.
  • Cook time, preparation time, and entire interval.
  • Date printed.
  • Description.
  • Keywords.
  • Nutrition data.
  • Recipe class by meal type, like “dinner”
  • Region associated to the recipe.
  • Ingredients.
  • Instructions.
  • Yield or entire serving.
  • Video (and completely different related markup, if there’s a video inside the recipe).

The markup for recipe instructions would look one factor like this, as an illustration:

"recipeInstructions": [


"@type": "HowToStep",

"name": "Preheat",

"text": "Heat oven to 425°F.",

"url": "https://example.com/recipe#step1",

"image": "https://example.com/photos/recipe/step1.jpg"


Third-Party Review Sites and Google Stars

Acquisio review and star rating on third-party review site Capterra.Screenshot from SERPs listing of a review site, Google, August 2021

Many software companies rely on third-party review sites to help inform their customer’s purchasing decisions.


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Third-party review sites include any website that a brand doesn’t own where a customer can submit a review such as Yelp, G2, and many more.

Many of these sites, like Capterra shown above, can display star ratings.

How to Get Google Stars on Third Party Review Sites

The best way to get a review on a third-party review site depends on which site is best for the brand or the business.

For example, if you have active customers on Yelp, you may choose to engage with customers there.

Star ratings shown on Yelp search result listingScreenshot from SERPs listing of a review site, Google, August 2021

Similarly, if a software review site like Trust Pilot shows up for your branded search, you could do an email campaign with your customer list asking them to leave you a review there.


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Here are a few of the third-party review websites that Google recognizes:

  • Trust Pilot.
  • Reevoo.
  • Bizrate – through Shopzilla.

When it comes to third-party reviews, Google reminds businesses that there is no way to opt out of third-party reviews, and they need to take up any issues with third-party site owners.

App Store Results and Google Stars

Star ratings present in app store results on GoogleScreenshot from SERP app store results, Google, August 2021

When businesses have an application as their core product, they typically rely on App Store and Google Play Store downloads.


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Right from the SERPs, searchers can see an app’s star ratings, as well as the total votes and other important information like whether the app is free or not.

How to Get Google Stars on App Store Results

Businesses can list their iOS apps in the App Store, prompt customers to leave reviews there, and also respond to them.

They can do the same on the Google Play store; instructions to do so are here.

Shoot for the Stars

Stars indicate quality to consumers, so they almost always improve click-through rates wherever they are present.

Consumers tend to trust and buy from brands that have higher star ratings in local listings, paid ads, or even app downloads.

Many, many, many studies have demonstrated this phenomenon time and again. So don’t hold back when it comes to reviews.

Do an audit of where your brand shows up in SERPs and get stars next to as many placements as possible.


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The most important part of star ratings across Google, however, will always be the service and experiences companies provide that fuel good reviews from happy customers.

More Resources:

Image Credits

Feature Image: BlueberryPie/Shutterstock
All Screenshots Taken by Author

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