Google has been working hard to expand their reviews and ratings systems, and yesterday they made a big step by announcing that they will be introducing product ratings for Product Listing Ads (PLAs).
The announcement, which appeared on the Inside Adwords Blog, stated:
Product reviews provide critical information to shoppers making purchase decisions. To help shoppers easily find this information when searching for products, we’re introducing product ratings on Product Listing Ads.
Shoppers browsing on Google will see the typical product listings they have become accustomed to, but beneath the listings product ratings will also be shown in the shape of stars and review counts. For now it appears the changes will only be seen on search results within the United States.
The data used for these review listings will be gathered from multiple sources, such as merchants, third party aggregators, and editorial sites.
If reviews for businesses are any indication of what this change will bring, it seems very likely that businesses offering products with largely positive reviews will be able to leverage the updated listings to not only increase their click-through rates, but to also increase conversions overall.