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AdWords Review Extensions: Add Positive Reviews & Testimonials to Your AdWords Ads

July 24, 2013
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If you’ve had an eye on the AdWords Blog lately, you may have noticed that Google is on a roll when it comes to new features, particularly in the form of ad extensions—for example, see the new image extensions and enhanced, extra-large Google sitelinks.

In the past, these “bells and whistles” were often utilized by only the savviest PPC experts. Nowadays, ad extensions are a fundamental aspect of paid search accounts. If you’re not using them, hop on the bandwagon before you’re left in its dust. Not only do ad extensions require minimal setup time, they are also displayed at no additional cost—a win-win for most advertisers.

Google’s latest brainchild is Review Extensions. As you can see in the example below, these extensions give you the opportunity to share positive reviews, testimonials or awards below your standard text ads. As with all AdWords extensions, enabling review extensions makes your ads larger and more visible, giving you more chances to convince a search engine user to click.

Review Extensions

Those of you who are familiar with AdWords’ ad copy policy may be surprised to see the word “best” included in the extension. Google’s policy has always been strict regarding advertiser claims, making the use of superlatives nearly impossible in ad text (sure, it’s doable, but Google doesn’t make it easy). This has always struck me as a ridiculous rule. When it comes to marketing, isn’t every product the “best”? With review extensions, we marketers finally have the loophole we’ve been waiting for.

How to Use the New AdWords Review Extensions

Now that we’ve covered the benefits, let’s talk fine print. For the time being, Review Extensions are in an English-only beta program. Like most AdWords betas, this feature is not yet supported in the AdWords interface and the program guidelines are somewhat vague. To gain access to the feature, reach out to your Google representative, who will determine whether your account is an appropriate candidate.

If you’re one of the lucky beta testers, here are the guidelines you need to follow:

  • You must provide a direct quote or a summary of a key point from a review from a “reputable” third-party website. (The extension includes a link to the website with the review—but you don’t have to pay for clicks to that website.)
  • The review must be about your entire company, rather than a specific product.
  • It needs to be a recent review—no more than 12 months old.
  • Be sure to keep it short and sweet; only 67 characters are allotted for the extension.
  • Get permission—before handing this information over to Google, it is your responsibility to gain permission from the source to reference their review.

You’re probably wondering, how will Google know whether the reviews are legitimate? Google has promised to diligently “review and validate” all extensions with both human teams and robots. It is also prohibiting advertisers from using individual user reviews, which are easily manipulated or fabricated. Instead, the review must come from a third-party, independent source and a link to the source must be included alongside the review. You will not be charged for clicks on this link.

[MORE: The Complete Guide to Yelp Reviews]

I suspect review extensions will be a big hit, particularly for advertisers who do not have access to seller reviews and are eager to do some bragging online.

 

 

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Comments

Darren
Jul 25, 2013

Hi Erin,Very exciting, but also disapointing that it is still in beta. When do you think it will be widely available?

Shelly
Jun 29, 2015

Does your website have a contact page? I'm having trouble locating it but, I'd like to shoot you an e-mail.
I've got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

Stefan T Martinez
Jul 25, 2013

Hi Erin,Great article! This is great for B2B marketing. I was a little dissapointed that this will not be useful for specific prduct or individual reviews, but I do see Google's concern in this.Looking forward to reading more on this and possibly testing it out on clients!Best,Stefan Martinez

Randall Magwood
Jul 28, 2013

Do you think that this can boost opt-in email conversion rates? I feel kind of doubtful that a small review under an ad can produce more than a 40% response rate when it comes to landing page conversions.

Thad James
Jul 30, 2013

The review extensions are a great addition to Google Ads. The ad will be bigger and third-party reviews are always a draw for users. The review adds validity and respect to any company. Thanks for the article. 

james
Nov 12, 2013

very nice post. Great job

andy kuiper
Dec 09, 2013

Thant's why it wouldn't accet Yelp - thanks :-)"It is also prohibiting advertisers from using individual user reviews,"

Anonymousandy
Oct 09, 2014

Ok so this puts small direct sellers like me at a big disadvantage. Sellers who sell indirectly via large resellers have got a so called reputable agency who can provide so called reputable reviews. Of course being resellers they aren't going to let bad reviews through as it is against their interest.
Direct sellers like myself have no such corrupt middlemen - only real customers who leave real reviews on good websites like tripadvisor.
How do we get stars against our Adwords?

Google is just playing the marketing game favouring larger companies who keep prices high to the end customer to cover 25% commissions!

Meanwhile small honest sellers suffer. Thanks Google!

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