Seller Ratings vs Product Reviews vs SEO Star Rankings

June 28, 2019

Nowadays, it’s not enough to get the best price, consumers also want the best service or product available at that price. With so many options available out there, the biggest price tags don’t necessarily mean the best quality anymore either. Evidently, that’s why we turn to reviews. Reviews help consumers make an informed decision when trying to decide between the various options available to them. With Google, there are three types of reviews available to look into: Seller Ratings, Product Reviews, and SEO Star Rankings. In this blog I will explain the differences of each and how they can be beneficial to your brand.

Seller Ratings

Seller ratings are based out of 5 stars from reviews left on Google and its partner review platforms about your company. Since these reviews aren’t necessarily about any product in particular, you don’t need to be a shopping advertiser and you aren’t required to have a Google Merchant Center account. These ratings are eligible to be shown on the search network, and would appear in your paid listing on a scale of 1-5 stars. Additionally, ratings can even boost search ad click through rate by upwards of 10% according to Google Ads blog!

However, for the seller ratings to appear with your search ads as an automated extension, you need to have at least 150 unique reviews and a rating of at least 3.5 stars. In order to help you get reviews, you can use third party sites to gather them – a full list of independent review websites is provided here.

Example of ratings for a car parts & accessories store:

A few examples of seller reviews for businesses that provide plumbing services:

Interestingly enough, google will automatically generate an informative snippet after the review that they think is important to the review. See below for Ikea, i shows the return policy:

Versus Zappos here, where it shows average delivery time:

These snippets range in content from number of reviews, delivery time, return policies, availability of the item and any other relevant information to the business that would encourage the user to click on the listing.

Product Reviews

Product reviews are exactly as they sound, reviews of a specific product. Reviews are graded on a 1 to 5 star scale as well. These are going to be entirely separate from your store or business, meaning they will be rated independently from your seller rating. In order for these reviews to show for your product, you will need at least 50 unique reviews across your products with no minimum star rating, for a more comprehensive guideline see here. Reviews with star ratings can show as follows:

SEO Star Rankings

SEO star rankings have the least amount of restrictions in place, there are no minimum amount of reviews really, nor is there a minimum rating to be achieved. These too, operate independently from the seller and product reviews. SEO star rankings will only appear on organic listings, and will appear for pages that have been marked by schema markups. Similar to the other two reviews, these reviews are shown at Google’s discretion and there really is no way of ensuring that they’re always showing. These reviews are comprised of google reviews and trusted review sites that were mentioned earlier. Again, the full list of trusted review sites can be found here. Don’t forget to notify Google about these great reviews with a scheme markup! A few examples of organic rankings are shown below:

All in all, each type of review/ranking substantially helps create visibility and encourages users to click on your listing – at little to no extra cost too. Taking full advantage of these features are necessary to thrive considering the state of today’s competition.

Have questions? Get in touch with us by commenting on this blog!


*For Yelp, we do not encourage you to reach out for reviews as this is strictly forbidden by Yelp’s review policy. Rather, have ample signage on your business that says ‘Find us on Yelp’ and let people organically review your business. You should still reply to ALL reviews good and bad to show you’re grateful for feedback.