If you are a friend to Google ratings, you may have noticed a recent change. Google has revamped their review system, reverting from a 30-point scale, back to a simple 5-star rating. This was a smart move, in my opinion, since the old scale seemed a bit confusing and complex. It was hard to tell what an 18 out of 30 review meant, whereas a 4 out of 5 stars is easier to gauge. Another reason why this transition from Google is so smart is because other review sites such as Yelp use 5-star ratings. This creates consistency across the board and is a scale that users are already familiar with. A business’s rating will show up on their profile as soon as there are five reviews left on their page. Below, you can see an example of how the rating appears on a Google Local page.
With this being a recent change, the old rating system still seems to be showing up on the old Google maps. Since the new Google maps hasn’t rolled out to all users yet, some will just have to patiently put up with the old rating scale. As you can see below, a local coffee shop’s 24 out of 30 rating is still showing up on their map listing.
But on the search engine results page for the same local coffee shop, the new listing appears. You can see the star rating on the side of the search page and within the listing’s rich snippet.
Within the new update to Google Local search, business listings and ratings will also in a scrolling carousel at the top of the search engine results page.
By seeing the star rating straight on the search page, a customer is going to be more motivated to click on the listing. This new update from Google should give businesses a bigger incentive to respond to customers’ comments and seek new authentic reviews. It is important to keep an eye on what your customers are writing about you. They are telling you everything you need to know, you just have to take the time to listen (or in this case look). Google has always placed an emphasis on providing the best customer experience and now that is ever more visible.