I think this is fairly new for advertisers in the US. Maybe I missed a press release somewhere, but it looks like Google quietly launched a new feature in Adwords: a Google Product Search Rating OneBox:
I just did a search for ‘showers pass jacket’ and I saw an ad for REI. The ad is interesting because when you click on the text “rated”, it takes you to a Google Product Search rating page for the merchant. If you keep clicking, you will more than likely wind up on the retailer’s page, free of charge. Heck, in some cases, the folks like Bizrate.com may get some money out of this. I clicked through from the Google SERP to the GPS ratings page to a review on Bizrate all the way through to REI’s homepage (via a PPC link on Bizrate).
It’s an interesting move on Google’s part. Maybe draw some more eyes towards paid search ads, maybe draw more attention to Google Product Search, maybe give the user a sense of trust for the retailer being rated (and a sense of trust with Google), maybe to help keep the advertisers honest, maybe a mix of everything.
Should be fun to see where this goes and how various advertisers react.
Update: I just read the post on the Inside AdWords (maybe I should have came here first… ha!) These are officially called seller rating extensions. And wow – what a plan this sounds like. From Google:
If your online store is rated in Google Product Search, you have 4 or more stars, and you have at least 30 reviews, you’ll automatically get seller ratings with your ads. What’s more, you’ll only be charged if someone clicks on the headline of your ad – clicks on the review link are free.
All e-tailers, start your engines… this could be fun! The ads are rolling out over the next 24 hours. This is another way to owning more SERP real estate. I predict an onslaught of accounts being open with Bizrate (and other various rating sites that GPS crawls). I wonder if you can opt out of this (for whatever reason).