Understanding Google My Business & Local Search
First Reports of 5-Stars Returning to the Main Search Results
Update: We now have screen shots of the 5 Star treatment in the new Local Carousel
The last bastion of Zagat has finally been breached and reports are showing up of 5 Stars returning to the main search results page in the Pack. Poster Valesence shared her sighting of the new display at the LocalSearchForum.
Google announced the return to the 5-Star system in mid-May at the I/O Conference, along with the rollout of the new Google Maps. Phil Rozek reported their return to the Google+ Pages for local last week. The stars have not yet been reported on the new Local Carousel. But they are obviously undergoing testing and while they are are not universally visible it is only a matter of time before both the Pack and Carousel results both show 5-Stars.
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.
Here is the screen shot of a 7-Pack with the “new” star treatment:
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So nice to see a post from you, as always, Mike. Wonder if the stars will show up in the carousel or if Google is glued to the ratio ratings there. Thanks for reporting on this.
Thanks. Been taking a breather. Vacation and trying to catch up on work.
You are asking whether Google will show the stars AND the number in the Carousel? Good question… Certainly the 30 point scale is toast. I would think that they would show both as that is how they are doing it elsewhere. But then again…
Thanks for posting, Mike.
Google must be rolling this out real slowly, because I can’t see the review stars / 5-point ratings in the SERPs no matter what I type in – even when I look at the results in the screenshot. And that puzzles me a little, given that the reappearance of the stars/ratings on everyone’s Google+ Local pages last week was universal.
This being a “first sighting” could be a test and it could be the real thing. We know its coming.
Frequently these are visible in test mode on only a few browsers. If things don’t break too badly then Google does this “let’s test it with 10,000 and if that doesn’t totally screw the pooch, we’ll test it with 100,000 and soon we will have real scale” process.
I haven’t seen it either.
I finally see star rating everywhere (Maps, carousel,…), not just search results. I’m a happy camper!
Max send me a screen shot of the carousel would you?
Mike, I shared it here:
Just like to share visuals on G+ but apparently I screen-captured something some of you don’t see yet 🙂
Awesome – thanks, Max. I guess you answered Miriam’s question (at least provisionally).
Hard to say whether Zagat or Frommer’s was the bigger waste of money for Google…especially when you take into account all of the integration and dis-integration costs. I wonder if anyone on Wall Street is considering Marissa’s track record here WRT her spending spree at Yahoo?
Are these showing up due to Schema, or is rather a new test Google is running?
WhatI believe that you are seeing is the first sitings in the wild of the switch away from Zagat rating to a 5-star scale that was announced on May 15th.
At the time, Google noted,/a> that the changes will appear to some users today and will continue to roll out on Google Maps for Mobile, Google search results and Google+ Local in upcoming months.
This sighting and the one by Max, are Google rolling out the new system to the front page of Google. For Google rolling out and testing are often synonymous.
Thanks for covering Mike!
@Phil “Google must be rolling this out real slowly, because I can’t see the review stars / 5-point ratings in the SERPs no matter what I type in”
I remember when I broke that huge Places change back in 2010 here on Mike’s blog, for a long time I was the only one that could see it. So sometimes I think it’s a matter of luck or if you happen to be hitting a test server. I’ve seen other updates roll out like this. More and more will begin to see it. Then BAM it will go live.
Here’s another example for Cincinatti Roofing posted at my forum by John Crenshaw. Bigger better screenshot.
Try Chrome now. I tried everything earlier today – no Stars.
Still not seeing stars in FF but just started seeing in Chrome.
Also seeing stars in the Carousel with Chrome.
Stars, stars everywhere. YAY!
The USA is always getting Google’s new features first… 🙂
Although we don’t have the carousel in the Netherlands, yet, since today we see the 5-star reviews in Dutch SERPs as well!
Looks like it’s rolling out gradually indeed.
thanks for the update. Its nice to see that the stars (if not the carousel) are going world wide.
The more precise decimal scoring (4.2 or 4.8, as opposed to just rounding to the nearest half decimal) is an interesting feature.
Yes that is an interesting twist that results in increased granularity. I wonder if that decision was user driven or just a way to better capture the math of the more complex Zagat scores correctly?
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