Google Local Returns to a 5 Star System In New Maps

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 3.23.36 PMAlong with a total revamp of Maps, Google has announced at I/O, the forum and their blog the return to a 5 star review system. You can request an invite to the new Maps here. From their blog post:

Users who opt-in to the new Google Maps will now rate businesses on a scale that ranges from one to five stars. The system maintains the precision of the former 30 point scale while improving the readability and accessibility of the business listings. Your customers will be able to find up-to-date, accurate information on your business faster than ever. As a business owner, you’ll notice that past ratings have been mapped to the five star system.

Here is how the new scores are now calculated:

poor/fair = 2 stars
good = 3 stars
very good = 4 stars
excellent = 5 stars

Some other notes from Google:

  • Users on legacy Maps, mobile (Android + iOS), Google+,, and other properties will continue to see 30 point ratings for several more weeks
    • If a user is opted into the New Google Maps and clicks on a “more reviews” they will be taken to a plus page where they will see the 5 star ratings
    • However, if the same user had just navigated to the page from they would see 30 point scale
    • Note that users just searching on not coming from New Google Maps will continue to see the old results.
  • Google will no longer be asking users to rate on specific dimensions/aspects. For example, for restaurants users will no longer rate the “food”, “decor” and “service”.
    • Google will show just one overall score (they used an algorithm to translate the food/decor/service scores into a blended overall score).

To the dismay of many, Google replaced the yellow stars with the Zagat system in May, 2012 when Google rolled Places pages into Plus. It was clear from August of last year that Google was testing a return to the 5 Star system and they were never removed from local AdWords display.

The current iteration of stars appear to be universally red and it seems that they will roll out to all properties over the next few months. The new “Places” results that were spotted earlier will apparently be the results seen when visited from the new Maps interface.

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Google Local Returns to a 5 Star System In New Maps by

15 thoughts on “Google Local Returns to a 5 Star System In New Maps”

  1. Home, sweet home 🙂

    Of course, the Zagat rating are another Marissa Mayer vestige that, when replaced, will confuse business owners once again.

  2. I actually prefer the stars, did anyone notice lately there is no write a review button on a google plus listing using an Ipad. The writing review process is getting out of control. I’m making flyers that give instructions using different devices for mobile phones, tables, etc.

  3. @Darrel

    You need to navigate to the listing through the Google+Local app. That’s the only way to see the “write a review” button and be able to write a review.

  4. “Push me, pull me…. Google lurches towards a solution… You gotta say this… they aren’t afraid of changing paths.”

    For a company as large as they are, they are remarkably agile… it just takes a little longer to get the point across.

  5. Marc’s comment about agility is true. I worked for AT&T for 11 years and we were always working on last years problem if things were good. The year before if things were normal.

  6. 5 reviews seems to be the threshold for seeing a star rating displayed with a local business listing. Does anyone have any data on how long after you receive your 5th review that the star rating will appear with your business name in search results?

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