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Rating Stars: Changes in Google search results

Google search results

Many online shops rely on customer ratings in order to create authenticity and to convince interested parties of their offer. Real customer ratings actually offer a good tool to increase the “value” of a site. Corresponding “deadweight effects” have also existed at Google to date, after all, every type of so-called user-generated content has a positive effect on the SERPs. Until now, it seems.What exactly is changing now? The search heroes offer insights into the future handling of rating stars in the Google SERPs.

Google announced in September 2019 that the so-called rating stars will no longer be displayed in the search results with immediate effect. However, there are certain exceptions, as the focus is primarily on curbing manipulation attempts. The large number of rating portals and the “easy” manipulation of such data are likely to have been two decisive reasons for this.

Rating stars as additional information? From now on, not more in demand

rating stars
rating stars

The more data there is and the more links can be made, the better. Ultimately, this enables Google to sort results more easily according to relevance criteria and to rank them accordingly. However, rating stars also have a high potential for manipulation, because the necessary changes in the source code of the page can be manipulated for your own benefit with little effort. With this update, Google goes so far that rating stars declared as “self-serving” will no longer be taken into account in future.

The problem in practice: There are many websites on which customers or “avoidable” customers can post their reviews. Naturally, there are more or less major differences in the presentation of individual pages. As a website operator, you are of course not interested in showing the rating of a page where you do poorly. Instead, you choose the portal with the highest rating and Google rates it as “self-serving”, which can best be translated as “self-serving”.

Google update on review stars only affects store reviews

However, there is a small glimmer of hope, as Google explicitly excludes such reviews from this new regulation, which involve product reviews. So if customers rate individual items from your range and a point assessment is then made, this will continue to be used.

As before, rating stars that are displayed via Google Ads or Google Shopping are rated. So in paid ads. In addition, rating stars are retained, which lead to explicit rating profiles in the SERPs.

In short: The changes that arise for website operators have an impact on the search results. However, star ratings and co. Remain an ideal means of retaining customers and convincing them of your own offer. Customer reviews are rated as “very relevant” by almost 60 percent. You will give new customers in particular orientation.

What happens now?

Google search results
Google search results

As with all other Google updates, it remains to be seen what specific changes will result. It should take a few more weeks for the first analyzes to be available. But it is also clear that changes are not consistently implemented 1: 1. So it may well be that Google will make adjustments or weight rating stars differently.

It is and will not be a disadvantage for you to continue to show rating stars. This is due to the fact that, after all, no ratings are displayed on any of the other websites. In the case of generic searches, this does not change to your disadvantage.

However: It is advisable to focus more on product reviews. They have a huge impact on rich snippets. Nothing will change in the Trusted Shops Google integration, because, as I said, reviews are displayed as usual for paid ads.

Stay up to date and find more articles about search engine optimization and Co. in the search heroes blog – it’s worth taking a look!

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