You’re probably thinking that the heading is an oxymoron and that it’s impossible to get free clicks from the paid search results, but it’s not! Google just introduced seller rating extensions that will allow you to get free clicks. The ratings will be shown by golden stars and will show up next to your PPC ad on Google (just like the one shown below), and the best part is when somebody clicks on the reviews, it DOES NOT cost you anything.
However, there are some caveats that we should all be aware of. Those catches are that not all merchants qualify. There are certain criteria that must be met before those beloved golden stars will show up. Google explains in their post Introducing seller rating extensions on Google.com.
“If your online store is rated in Google Product Search, you have 4 or more stars, and you have at least 30 reviews, you’ll automatically get seller ratings with your ads…At this time, seller rating extensions will show to English-language users searching on Google.com.”
So now you might be asking where these ratings come from and how to improve them. Google has said that they include Reseller Ratings, Bizrate, ReviewCentre.com and Viewpoints. However, in their answer to that question, it only said includes, so it would probably be good to assume there are more out there and not to just focus on those ones alone.
All in all, the merchant rankings will probably improve click-through-rate for those merchant’s with high rankings, but does not mean that all the clicks will be free. Google has done a great job at making the link rather small and the headline stands out much more than the reviews link.
So, still focus on maintaining good customer relationships and delivering exceptional customer service because those ratings will help, but don’t count on all the clicks being free!