How Many Reviews Are Needed to Show Stars in the New Map List View?

Peter Troast of EnergyCircle.com asked a great question in the comments to my post about the new visuals for the (now named) Maps List View -aka Places Search- result:

Also seems like the # of reviews threshold is shifting for display. For zero reviews, “Be the first to review” appears right under company name. From 1-__, it looks as if nothing appears at all (in contrast to the old “3 Google Reviews.” I’ve seen a couple 5 review listings that displayed the new stars (yeah!), and several 8′s and 9′s, so it appears the 10 review threshold is coming down. Anyone figured out what the new threshold is? Certainly seems like nowheresville for 1-4.

The answer is 5. It takes 5 reviews for Google to show the stars. On these searches for restaurants surfaces results with a range of lower review totals. Obviously we do not yet know how or when they will update the main search results display to stars and whether this will apply.

how-may-reviews-to-show-stars

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How Many Reviews Are Needed to Show Stars in the New Map List View? by

16 thoughts on “How Many Reviews Are Needed to Show Stars in the New Map List View?”

  1. I remember that being the case a year or so ago. So that is back to being the norm…do you see that staying the same for the furture?

  2. Yes we have once again traveled back to the future. Only now they are red instead of gold.

    do you see that staying the same for the future?

    Google’s definition of the “future” (you will think I am kidding but I am not) is 3 months or one management change whichever comes first.

    So to answer your question from that point of view: yes.

  3. It’s amazing how many times google has changed the whole “Plus” platform. Gets to be almost annoying, as every change they make doesn’t seem to make the whole system any better. Okay…enough ranting. Mike I’ve enjoyed your fantastic info on all things Google+. Keep it up!

  4. Yeah, I’ve also been finding some 4′s this morning, and thought Eric Christopher (in comments on prior post) was on to something with the average score being the trigger, but Radina seems to have blown that theory.

  5. The rule of 5 is correct. However if a business has misplaced but not lost reviews it will still show the star rating as though they have 5 reviews. For instance, many businesses would have less than 10 reviews still had the Zagat rating. These businesses were the victim of temporarily misplaced reviews. I could actually tell which clients would retrieve their lost reviews based upon whether or not they still maintained the Zagat rating. A hair salon called me panicked as she went from 27 reviews to 8 and lost positioning. Yet she still maintained her Zagat rating which I found odd. I went out and found other businesses with under ten reviews that had a Zagat rating and compiled a list. All of these businesses reacquired their reviews. You will find all of the businesses under 5 reviews that have a star rating have temporarily lost reviews. I am absolutely certain of this. Mike you are correct on the 5 star system. I visited a business this evening that had 4 reviews once I wrote the fifth the star rating appeared. A business with under 5 reviews with a star rating is the exception, not the rule.

  6. Yeah, I’ve also been sentence some 4?s this morning, and thinking Eric Christopher (in comments on prior post) was on to impressive with the common score being the trigger, but Radian seems to have blow that theory.

  7. @Radina I went back a couple pages on that search term and found a really interesting one.

    ZERO reviews – yet 4.3 red stars.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=angelica+flowers+new+york&hl=en&tbm=plcs

    @Kyle, you might be onto something.

    But I used a trick that often finds lost reviews and can’t find any for the business above. Wonder if it’s counting ratings even if no review is given?

    That G+L page has Zagat score too, even though no reviews.
    https://plus.google.com/102010070139372019401/about?hl=en

    I started thinking maybe the 4.3 stars came from reviews directly on Zagat that are not showing on Google. I searched Zagat and can’t find that business listing. So who knows where that score is coming from?

  8. I keep going back mentally to the example that was given by Radina. Keep in mind that Mothers Day just passed and the example was florists. The two times of year when the most flowers are delivered and reviews are written for florists: Mothers Day & Valentines Day. With a high number of reviews just written for that particular industry you will see many of them may have been filtered or lagging to show. I have seen instances where reviews were written and did not appear for several weeks. Then multiple reviews appear all at the same time with older posting dates. My theory is still that these businesses have more reviews than what are actually showing. I noticed a significant loss of reviews for businesses when new formats rolled out (Places- Plus). Once the reviewer would go into his or her profile and update to the option to a public review or refresh the review the review would then reappear. Many of my clients have customers they deal with on a weekly basis so they have a lot of reviews. So when they have lost reviews they call me in a panic asking how to reacquire these lost reviews. I work with the businesses often to make sure their customers voice is heard so I have noticed issues most may not have ever been aware of on the Google review front. Conclusion: with the recent roll out of this new format there may have been lost reviews but they are still out there in a form of purgatory (may not be permanent like a Places Purgatory). Casting my ballot for the rule of 5. KEEP your eyes peeled everyone love the discussions.

  9. Is it true that Google has allowed certain companies to be verified reviewers? I thought that changed a couple of years ago. A few of my clients have been approached by a company who says the will interview their patients and can submit the reviews directly to Google. Is that legit?

  10. @Kelly
    It is absolutely untrue. the guidelines are quite clear: Reviews should describe your personal, first-hand experience with a specific place. Don’t post reviews based on someone else’s experience,

  11. We had a client with the Zagat rating and 11 reviews. As of Monday morning we lost our rating and 4 reviews. We are not doing anything shady or different then we have done for the last 8 years.
    Any ideas why? Getting in touch with Google or a response is impossible.
    Thanks

  12. Google has a review spam filter that runs through the reviews periodically and takes down ones that don’t meet its standards. Their standards are based on the broad stroke of an algo and thus sometimes take down good reviews with the bad.

  13. I’ve got 9 reviews on my real estate biz page and am still not getting stars in the results. In organic, or even our adwords express ads that should be showing stars as well. I was told by Adwords support the first time that I needed 5. The next time I called I needed 10. We’ll see once I get that tenth if anything changes.

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