Google Maps Testing Display of Review Stars on the Map

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We already knew that user reviews are important to Google. After all, Google, as well as other search engines, use reviews as a strong ranking signal. This means that an establishment’s search results ranking is affected by user reviews. For example, if a local dentist has 4.9 stars, this score will help them rank higher in Local search results. Now, Google is going a step further with reviews: Google is now displaying the average rating for business within Google Maps.

Michael Wallace, a Local Search Strategist, reports on this latest change with Google Maps. As you can see from his Tweet above, the average Google Reviews rating is under the establishment name and placed just to the left of a black star. To the right of the star, on the other side, is another number. This number is how many people have rated the establishment. Let’s take a look at an example.

Padilla’s Mexican Kitchen has an average of 4.6 stars. This cumulative rating is based on 740 reviews. People really like this place! And Google understands this. So when people search for “Mexican food”, Google will take Padilla’s Mexican Kitchen’s great score into consideration when returning search results.

Featured photo is a screenshot of Michael Wallace’s Google Maps picture by Gain Local