Jan 092012

A few weeks ago I wrote about the AdWords – Google Places linkage and the corresponding reviews that could (and should) potentially appear on the live ads. However, a little later Matthew Hunt provided some feedback saying that this function is currently not working. Here is an excerpt from an answer he received from a Google AdWords rep:

I also looked in to the issue of the Places Reviews. It turns out that it is in fact not available on AdWords. The Seller Ratings we discussed are completely separate from Places Reviews, and AdWords Express is currently the only ad format that shows Places Reviews. I’m sure we will be looking to change that in the future.

However, on Friday David Kyle tweeted that the Google reviews finally found their way on the (normal) AdWords ads with location extension. Here is the screenshot:

Google Places Reviews on AdWords Ads

Obviously, the review count of 0 is incorrect.

David Oremland shared a similar screenshot, where 3 AdWords ads linked with Google Places, and 1 AdWords Express ad were displayed. The 3 normal AdWords ads were all showing 0 reviews:

AdWords with Google Places Reviews

I saw the same type of results for searches in the UK and Germany, too. Since yesterday, they don’t show anywhere.

Google is obviously running an update, which might have a very positive effect for the advertisers targeting locally and using Google Places as a reputation management tool. This would be a logical step in their fight for conquering the small business reviews vertical. Such a step could also significantly increase the absolute number of businesses using AdWords as an advertising mean, and at the same time could potentially cause a major traffic drop for the ones focusing only on organic search.

  4 Responses to “Google Places Reviews Finally Showing up on AdWords Ads?”

Comments (4)
  1. Did David Kyle saw his Adwords ads start to show these reviews based on his Google Places reviews? From what I know If he is running both Google Adwords and Adwords Express at the same time, they are really competing with one another to show on Google. Therefore, David might see the reviews showing on his Adwords ads, but in fact these are from Google Express. If you were to paused Google Express and just let Google Adwords shows, then you will not see these star ratings.

    • Hey Trung, I never started an Adwords Express campaign with this client. You are correct in stating they compete against each other.

      The example shown was from a regular Adwords ad. Notice the way the ad is written, Adwords Express generally have the biz name in the ad title, and definitely never bring the 1st line to the title.

      This client had well over 20 reviews in his Places account, but was showing zero in the ad. On further investigation, I noticed lots of other regular Adwords ads that used local extensions incorrectly showing zero stars as well.

      This instance only happened for a few days, started on a Thursday, and was gone by that Monday.

      It is my guess that Google was trying to implement reviews for regular Adwords ads, but couldn’t get it to work right. Even could have been it was accidentally rolled out prematurely?

      I was hoping it would be fully working by the end of that month, but to this day, I have never seen it happen again.

      A colleague I spoke with says he spoke with someone at Google that “sort of hinted to the fact” that it was a coming feature, but it’s just hearsay.

    • also forgot to mention that the “0 Reviews” link actually went back to just back to google.com, not the appropriate Places page. That was a pretty clear sign that whatever they were trying to do wasn’t working right.

  2. Funny – I recently (April 14/2013) started seeing this in AdWords again up in Canada after Google rolled out the latest dashboard update for Google Places. I’m wondering if this is one of the new updates to their social platform, or part of the Google AdWords enhanced campaigns…

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