Google Finally Announces Use of Google Local Reviews in Adwords

Google has finally acknowledged publicly that they were now adding Google Local reviews to Adword ads that use Location Extensions. These were seen in the wild starting several weeks ago.

emmets_NexusTablet_v3These reviews can be seen instead of seller ratings from 3rd party sites. Previously it was only possible to get Google Local review stars if you were using AdWords Express. Typically they would show if you had at least 3.5 stars and some minimum number of reviews. In the case of seller ratings that number is 30, I am not sure how many are required to show the Google Local review in Adwords.

Here is the Google Adwords post:

Location extensions can now show ratings from local Google My Business listings

Last year we made it easier to manage location extensions by automatically linking your Google My Business location information to your AdWords accounts ( Starting today, ratings from your Google My Business listings are eligible to appear in ads with location extensions enabled on desktop and tablet. People increasingly rely on the opinions and experiences of others to help make decisions like which pizza parlor to visit, where to get your tires rotated or which dentist to make an appointment with. Local ratings make your ads more useful to consumers searching for local information, and can improve your ad performance. To showcase your Google My Business reviews in your ads, make sure to have location extensions enabled in your account. Learn more (

Here is an example of an Adwords Ad showing on a branded search for a competitor. According to Dave Oremland, the ad placed for Professional Bartending School, has seen increased CTR in general. Showing up against a competitor might not deliver lots of click throughs but it sure is visually impactful:


Full disclosure: I am principal in, a product designed to help location based businesses understand their quality performance and earn more reviews.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Finally Announces Use of Google Local Reviews in Adwords by

18 thoughts on “Google Finally Announces Use of Google Local Reviews in Adwords”

  1. Interesting. Thanks for the update. I’ve been running them on 2 smbs now, starting as of 6/20. In our cases it has pushed up ctr on the relevant ads, but not be huge amts from what it was.

    We are monitoring this closely. Clearly though there are some very dramatic visual presentations available.

    At the beginning of your article you referenced that seller reviews required a minimum of 30 reviews. This program COULD have a minimum requirement also, even if google hasn’t specified that—Yet. I heard from a friend in the SEM world. His client(s) have not been able to get these to show (I heard this yesterday). One reason could be that there aren’t enough reviews. I’ll forward your article to him.

    A second reason they don’t always show is if there are a lot of competitive ads running. The more ads running…the less often adwords runs various different Ads extensions. There isn’t enough room or page real estate.

    Thirdly, if your ad isn’t first or 2nd….they might not run the ads extensions…and they might not show the review stars.

    Much to be discovered through trial and error.

  2. Pretty clever, I’d say. Google has never been shy about gathering and using information, and this gives great incentive to advertisers to get more reviews on deck.

    Remember, ads are already fairly easy to confuse with organic results for the typical unsavvy user – adding review stars into the mix makes them that much “grabbier” for traffic. And buys Google tons of new reviews from those of us who want to benefit from that grabbiness.

    In my opinion, anyways.

  3. I had briefly conversed with Dave O. about this on another forum when it first came out, and I noticed one of my clients didn’t have the starts showing up. I didn’t check for a couple weeks but I see that they’re finally there today. Shows up in position 4 (#1 on right side). Interestingly, though, it says there are “10 reviews” when he actually has 21.

  4. @Mike While using the Ad Preview tool I saw at least 2 others that had the stars far down on the right side. I also noticed one particular competitor at the #1 on top showing stars most of the time, but not all the time for a given kw, so it seems inconsistent.

  5. Hey Mike,

    Thx for the write up. At first, I thought it was Adwords Express, but it’s showing up for us, and other customers now. Slightly improved CTR, but more-so, as others said, the visual representation looks great.

    Also, as Dave mentioned “The more ads running…the less often adwords runs various different Ads extensions. There isn’t enough room or page real estate.” this is true 80% of the time.

    – Andrew

  6. @Mark
    As Mike mentioned, you need to have location extensions enabled, and depending on your search query, at random times it will display the review stars. I haven’t been able to quite pin point at which intervals it shows them. We run branded PPC for our own company, and I can tell you that doing various searches for our company, not including Inc. or including the city sometimes makes them display.

  7. @Andrew Many thanks for the extra detail. To be honest I think we have only just hit the 30 reviews threshold for 1 location out of 160 so its very early days for us.

  8. Any additional info uncovered here? Anyone know the # of review threshold? I am told that seller rating theshold is 30. But no one has been able to confirm google local reviews.

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