2018 Update: Review Extensions Discontinued
Google kicked off 2018 by announcing that they will no longer offer Review Extensions – third-party social proof that advertisers could tack onto their search ads. This means all review extensions will be deleted from your AdWords accounts along with performance data. Though it’s sad to see this feature go for many, a sigh of relief comes from a lot of PPC advertisers who found the approval process annoying (I know I’m not the only one).
Regardless, you should prepare your AdWords account for the switch with these 3 easy steps:
Advice & Best Alternatives to AdWords Review Extensions
- Download your extensions report
- Google recommends you check out sitelink extensions, callout extensions, and structured snippet extensions to strengthen your search ad presence. None of these are really replacements but other valuable extensions that make your ad larger and improve your CTR’s.
- Check back in with our AdWords Ad Extension Guide anytime you hear about potential changes from Google.
Remembering AdWords Review Extensions
[Original Post Updated October 2017]
Research shows 92% of online shoppers read online reviews before making local and online purchasing decisions.
In fact, most people trust online reviews as much as a review from a close friend.
So as business owners and marketers, success locally and online is only two steps away: get quality reviews AND display them easily for potential customers to find.
One amazing tool to get your reviews in front of consumers is with AdWords review extensions on search ads. Review extensions allow you to attach online reviews from reputable websites to the top of Google Search results.
Many businesses who were running basic search ads have seen an average of 66% more traffic to their website since adding review extensions.
Smart Tip: Review Extensions are best used with broad match keywords and branded campaigns. If you’re a local business, use radius targeting to let people know your reputable business is just a few blocks away!
What’s the catch with Review Extensions?
There are a number of nuances with these. They’re so hard to get passed the AdWords approval team some call Review Extensions AdWords’ Big Foot
Review extensions must provide “an accurate, current, credible, non-duplicative third-party review of the advertiser’s business.”
Review extensions only show on the Search Network (so no Search Network with Display Select) and on desktop computers.
Which third-party review websites does Google consider “credible”?
- Dedicated review publications or organizations. NOT personal or consumer review sites like Angie’s List or review aggregators like Yelp.
- Independent, copyrighted Magazines, Journals, and Newspapers (State, Regional, National, International).
- Business review sites. NOT product review sites.
- Websites that are accessible to the public. NOT premium sites that require users to sign in.
- Unbiased… NOT paid.
- Written, on-site reviews only: NOT video, audio, or downloadable PDfs or case-studies
Most Review Extensions get Disapproved. What are the main reasons to plan for?
- You include a review of a specific product rather than your business as a whole. Not a specific location. Not a specific product. Not a specific employee. Not a reseller.
*For information on Seller Ratings & Product Review Extensions for Google Shopping, check out our full ad extension guide.
- You don’t credit the source in the quote
- Paraphrasing the quote results in misleading information
- Including reviews from sources that Google does not consider quality
- The review is more than a year old
- The review must be on the source URL page (just how your ad text and keywords should be present on your destination URL)
This is normally where we post links to full lists of requirements, but we actually aggregated more details here than the official Google guide
AdWords Review Extensions
How to set up a Review Extension in AdWords:
- Select the Search Campaign you want to add the review extension to (you can also add Call Extensions at the ad group level). As mentioned, review extensions are for your business as a whole, so keep that in mind when choose the campaign.
- Click the tab
- Click the dropdown menu & select
- Click the button
- Click under the white text-box area
- Add your Qualified 3rd Party Review
- Your pending new review should appear to the right of the white box. This is how you know you are submitting it for approval from Google.
- Click one final time to submit your review extension to the AdWords team.
- Wait 1-2 days for Google to decide the approval status. These things get denied left and right. If you get denied, it will give a reason, but some of the reasons are quite vague. You can always call Google and have them explain what you can change.
Here’s a quick walkthrough from Google