Review Management

Google Customer Reviews and what they mean for local SEO

Everything you need to know about Google Customer Reviews and whether they impact rankings

Quick Summary
  • Google Customer Reviews are collected from online shoppers a few days after they make a transaction.
  • Businesses need to be signed up to Google’s Merchant Center in order to set up Google Customer Reviews.
  • Local businesses can boost their reputation even further with Google Business Profile reviews, which can easily be managed with Semrush’s Listing Management.

Online shopping with brands you’re not familiar with can be a bit daunting, but with Google Customer Reviews, you can rest assured you're doing business with a trusted seller.

With a Google Merchant Center account and a little web development to install the platform’s opt-in, your ecommerce site can soon start collecting ratings from people after they make a purchase.

But do Google Customer Reviews have an impact on your local SEO rankings? What’s the difference between Google Customer Reviews and Google Business Profile Reviews? And how does it all factor into your local SEO strategy?

What are Google Customer Reviews?

Google Customer Reviews is a program that allows businesses to collect reviews from online customers shortly after they buy something.

It’s considered an evolution from Google’s now-retired Trusted Stores program, which used to help users identify reliable brands via Search.

Customers receive an email a couple of days after finalizing their transaction, asking them to review their experience in a survey that takes around one minute to complete.

Google Customer Reviews contribute to Google’s seller ratings–along with reviews from other online platforms–which appear on Google Ads and Shopping ads. Individual Product Ratings are also influenced by Google Customer Reviews.
Screenshot 2023-08-09 at 16.04.18.png

One of the most valuable features of Google Customer Reviews is that you can display a badge on your website to show users you’re a trusted online retailer.

The score shown on the badge is the seller rating and requires businesses to rack up at least 100 reviews within the last year (across all review platforms, not just Google Customer Reviews) with an average of 3.5 or higher.

Screenshot 2023-08-09 at 16.04.30.png

If you sell online, leveraging the brand recognition and credibility that comes with Google Customer Reviews should factor into your conversion rate optimization strategy.

But it’s not the only type of Google review that can positively impact your business…

Take control: Google Customer Reviews are just one of many review types you should be campaigning for in order to boost your online reputation. Semrush's Review Management makes replying to and tracking all these reviews much easier, freeing you up to focus on running your business.

How do Google Customer Reviews impact local SEO?

According to Google Senior Search Analyst John Mueller , Google Customer Reviews don’t send signals to the search engine that impact local rankings.

Screenshot 2023-08-09 at 16.04.38.png

He said in 2021, “As far as I know, we don’t use the number of customers or reviews when it comes to web search, with regards to ranking.

“Sometimes we do pull that information out and we might show it as kind of a rich result in the search results.”

However, it could be argued that the seller rating rich results that Google Customer Reviews influence are likely to increase click-through rates and indirectly signal that the website is worth ranking.

Reviews that rank: Google Customer Reviews don’t directly impact local rankings, but Google Business Profile and other directory reviews do. Use Semrush’s Review Management to get your business details distributed to 70+ platforms infinitely faster than you’d be able to do it manually.

How to set up Google Customer Reviews

Before you can start collecting Google Customer Reviews, you’re going to need to sign up to a Google Merchant Center account (it’s free).

It doesn’t take very long to set up, but you will need some knowledge of how to embed code on your website if you don’t have access to a developer that can do it for you.

  1. Sign up to Google’s Merchant Center .
  2. Verify or claim your account.
  3. Open the left-hand-side menu.
  4. Select “Growth”.
  5. Click Manage programs.
  6. Click the Customer Reviews card.
  7. Enable it.
  8. Follow the instructions to embed the opt-in code.

Screenshot 2023-08-09 at 16.04.51.png

Once enabled, you’ll be able to list your products on Google directly from your e-commerce platform, including Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce and PrestaShop. You can also upload your products manually one-by-one or via spreadsheet for bulk publication.

Soliciting Google Customer Reviews is handled by Google. All you need to do is make sure the opt-in is correctly installed on your website and the platform will send the request emails on your behalf.

Are Google Customer Reviews the same as Google Business Profile reviews?

You’d be forgiven for thinking Google Customer Reviews are what you see when you pull up Google Maps or Local Pack results for businesses in your area.

But they’re actually different things. Google Business Profile reviews–commonly referred to as just “Google reviews”–rate your business as a location, whereas Google Customer Reviews rate online shopping experiences.

While Google Business Profile reviews are likely to reference customer opinions on products and services offered, it’s a different platform that feeds data to Google Maps and not Shopping or Product results.

Screenshot 2023-08-09 at 16.05.04.png

If you run a local business, you should ask customers for Google reviews directly by sending them a link as part of a wider review generation campaign .

Check your
local listings for free

Manage all your reviews with Semrush’s Review Management

Google Customer Reviews look great on SERP results and embedding the badge on your website can help you convert more of your website traffic.

But there’s no need to stop there. For a truly solid online reputation, get Semrush’s Listing Management to publish your business details on the web’s top review platforms and bring all your ratings into one handy interface.

Reply to reviews in one place

Once you’ve set up Google Customer Reviews, there’s not much you need to do to maintain it, other than taking the feedback on board and optimizing your products and services.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of Google Business Profile reviews, Facebook reviews and other online platforms that allow users to offer feedback.

These reviews require a response, so busy business owners use Semrush’s Listing Management to consolidate all their reviews into one easy-to-manage screen so you can reply to everyone at your own convenience.
Google and Facebook reviews in Semrush’s Listing Management

Track your overall review progress

Adding Google Customer Reviews to your mix of customer feedback can make it hard to get a clear read on how your client base really feels about your business.

Perhaps your Facebook followers can’t get enough of what you do and unanimously rate you five stars, while Google reviewers have a few more holes to pick…

Simplify your review reports with smart graphics that offer peace of mind that your review generation is on the right track and your business is providing real value to customers.
Review progress displayed in Semrush’s Listing Management

See how new reviews impact your GBP

Google Customer Reviews aren’t going to make a difference to where you rank locally, but building your reviews on GBP can lead to an increase in search views and interactions.

But while Google Business Profile has made it easier to check the impact of your reviews on rankings by allowing owners direct access to insights from Google Search and the Maps app, it’s still a hassle to jump from platform to platform to collect data.

Connect your Google Business Profile to Semrush’s Listing Management so you can track your average local rankings and GBP insights to make generating reports a breeze.
A Google Business Profile report in Semrush’s Listing Management

Appear on more review platforms

With Google Customer Reviews working in the background to flesh out your star ratings, you can turn your focus to getting some attention from other valuable platforms.

If you don’t know where to start, simply type your business name into the free audit tool in Semrush’s Listing Management and in seconds you’ll discover tons of places customers could be leaving you reviews.

And what’s more, you only have to subscribe to the affordable tool and check back later for the green tick confirming you’ve been successfully published on dozens of top sites.
Missed opportunities for citations revealed by Semrush’s Listing Management
Still have questions? We’ve got answers!
I agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy