Yelp Ratings Appear In Google AdWords

I received a screenshot in email of an AdWords ad for a San Diego auto repair shop that featured Yelp ratings (and a link to the Yelp review) in the AdWords copy. Here’s a screen of the ad:

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Google has been making AdWords richer, with product images and maps (and so on) in the ad copy:

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However the star ratings in the ad above is something new. When I sought to reproduce the search result yesterday I could not.

The auto repair shop makes reference to Yelp reviews, among others, on its homepage but the stars/rating don’t show up until you click through:

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The business is also a Yelp advertiser, but that’s unrelated to the AdWords copy. The ad above must be part of a test that Google is running, or a forthcoming option for (local) advertisers.

Postscript: Today I received a statement from Google about this:

“Google is constantly experimenting with new features, tools and visual representations to improve the user experience and usefulness of our ads. As part of that effort, we’re currently testing a feature in which text ads on Google search results pages may include star ratings and links to third party sites that have reviewed the advertiser’s business. This experiment helps users quickly find reviews of the businesses they’re looking for, and offers advertisers a new way to showcase positive reviews to potential customers. This beta feature is currently only visible to a small number of U.S.-based users.

This beta is part of our overarching initiative to experiment with new formats and show ad results in ways that are appropriate for the information users are seeking and that enhance their search experience.”

It sounds like — and I’m seeking further clarification — that the advertiser is not/was not involved in the placement of the ratings in the ad.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Google: Maps & Local


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Gail

    Google Local never really worked out that well, so in December, 2009 Google bought Yelp! for $500M. The mashup between the text based Yelp reviews and Google maps is a natural combination.

  • Aaron Wall

    They have been testing this for over a month now. I first saw this the week before Xmas

  • Matt McGee

    Gail – Google never did purchase Yelp. There were reports that it was close to happening, but in the end nothing happened.

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