Customer reviews are not a signal for web search

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Google’s John Mueller says customer reviews are still not reflected in web search results.

This topic is discussed during the Google Search Central SEO Hangout recorded on August 6, 2021.

A question is submitted to Mueller which reads as follows:

“Does Google look at the number of customers and / or reviews a website has to rank it higher in search results?” “

Mueller responds by saying that customer reviews aren’t a factor for web search, but they’re not totally irrelevant to gaining visibility on Google.

Read his full answer in the section below.

Google’s John Mueller on Customer Reviews and SEO

Although Google displays information about customer reviews in search results, such as aggregate star ratings, it is not a factor in determining the ranking of web content.

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Mueller says:

“As far as I know, we don’t use customer count or reviews when it comes to web search, in terms of ranking. Sometimes we extract this information and we can show it as some kind of rich result in search results.

The rich results of Google customer reviews may give the impression that they are being used as a ranking signal, but they are not.

However, as Mueller alludes to in his response, customer reviews are used elsewhere in Google search:

“It may be that for the Google My Business side of things, that may be taken into account more. I don’t have a lot of insight into this. But when it comes to normal web search, we don’t take that into account.

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To be fair, Google My Business is not Mueller’s department, but it is absoutely the case where customer reviews are taken into account.

In a local search, the business listing pack displayed at the top of Google is ranked using its own set of factors.

Google is transparent about what these factors are and presents them in a help guide under a title titled: “How Google Determines Local Rankings”.

The section reads as follows:

“Local results are mainly based on relevance, distance and importance. A combination of these factors helps us find the best match for your search.

The importance the ranking factor refers to the reputation of a company. One of the ways that Google measures brand awareness is by examining customer reviews.

The Google My Business help guide confirms that the number of reviews and the average score are taken into account when ranking local results:

“The number of Google reviews and the local search ranking review score factor. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’s local ranking.

Customer reviews won’t help (or harm) a business’s web search results, but they do. will impact the ranking of its Google My Business listing.

This is in line with what was previously known about customer reviews and their impact on Google search. It’s a common misconception among business owners that customer reviews influence search rankings, making it a topic worth revisiting every now and then.

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Listen to Mueller’s full response in the video below:


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