It’s clear that Google is moving more and more toward an approach where reviews and a company’s reputation is everything. Last week we wrote about Shared Endorsements and the idea that SERPs will now include actual user reviews from those in your Google+ circles. Being able to see reviews from people you know you can trust can help a consumer make a purchasing decision. So what about when it comes to paid advertisements? Google has it coverend and has incorporated reviews here, too, with the introduction of their new “Review Extensions.”

How Review Extensions Work for Google AdWords Advertisers

The idea has been in Beta since June but its official release was finally announced last week. Google users will now be able to look at a SERP and see a small quote or rating right there under an AdWords advertisement. The idea here is to A). Give users an idea about what authoritative sources are saying about the company, and B). Give the advertisers and opportunity to share this information and hopefully stand out from the crowd. Below is an example from the Google announcement:

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Below are a few things to keep in mind that help explain how Review Extensions really work:

  1. Only create one Review Extension per campaign to keep things simple. Google explained that only the first Review Extension will be published if it is approved.
  2. Ad Group level extensions take longer for Google to review than campaign level extensions, so keep that in mind when you get started.
  3. You must have permission from the individual or company where you are taking the review quote or rating from before using.
  4. The cutoff is 12 months old for any review you want to use.
  5. You are only allowed 67 characters for each review.
  6. You should focus on your company as a whole whenever you choose a review or rating, not just one specific product or service.

Google explains hat the review a company chooses must be from a third-party source and not an individual. This will help ensure that all reviews are valid. There will also need to be a link to the source of the review displayed (clicking the link charges no one).

Google will also use both an automated as well as a manual system to review every Review Extension for legitimacy.

Getting Started Using Review Extensions

Creating a Review Extension for one of your AdWords campaigns is simple. Once you login to your AdWords account, you can click the Ad Extensions tab and follow the directions:

Click Ad Extensions tab à Click Review Extensions à Select the campaign à Paraphrased or Exact à Type in the quote, the source, and source URL à hit “save”

You can also choose when you want to start and end the featured review you’re including as well as schedule it for a later time. You can always visit the AdWords Help Center if you’re having trouble.

What Review Extensions Means to You and Your Company

Once again, this is all about the reputation of your company. You of course do not have to opt-in to this new feature (which is slightly different than “Shared Endorsements” for organic search), but if you have a lot of great reviews and ratings, it can be an excellent way to separate yourself from the completion. This should work well for any company in any industry.

The only problem I see which Review Extensions is the fact that the average consumer may not realize that the quotes are coming from reputable sources. However with time and the more this is used, it should become clear that the link below shows legitimacy.

What do you think about Review Extensions?