Back in September, Google started to notify advertisers that it would begin counting and displaying Seller Ratings at the country level as of October 1.  After a bit of a delay, Chee Lo, head of SEO at reviews platform Trustpilot alerted us that the change went into effect early Friday.

Seller Ratings are the stars that appear in ads on the Google Search Network via an automated extension. Google sources the ratings and reviews from Google Customer Reviews, StellaService, Google Consumer Surveys, third-party review sites and other sources.

Google has chosen to make a more local approach to Seller Ratings in order to show searchers ratings submitted only by users in their own country, rather than globally.  In this case, ratings are broken out by country and can’t bey viewed globally.  There is now a new dropdown that allows users to change the country setting, as seen in following screenshot:

Before this change occurred, businesses had to have an average score of 3.5 for ratings, and a total of 150 reviews worldwide to display.  But now, they must have 100 reviews per country for their reviews to be eligible to display in those regions.

For businesses in the US that sell primarily within the U.S., the change will make it easier to qualify for Seller Ratings.  But businesses who sell internationally may find themselves ineligible for Seller Ratings in some markets.  This could very well be a big challenge for smaller businesses or businesses that ship internationally, but don’t have a physical presence in other regions.

According to Lo, Google is still updating its documentation on Seller Ratings, but that the new URL to see your ratings is

That URL is set to display ratings from the U.S. (c=US). You can use the new dropdown to view ratings from other countries.

This matters because seller ratings can effect ad performance in a number of ways.

Although results can vary, Google said that ads with Seller Ratings see 10 percent higher CTR than those without.  Google’s Ad Rank factors include expected click through rate and the expected impact of relevant ad extensions to generate clicks.  This ends up meaning seller ads with ratings have a higher chance to see lower CPCs and be show in higher positions than those without.  It’s possible that they could even drive higher conversion rates.

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