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Google's Review Extension: Get the Scoop

Published: January 21, 2014

Author: Jaime Sikora

Earlier in 2013, Google released the review extension in beta. Around mid-October, it made its way out of beta and is now widely available. Here are a couple of quick thoughts on it, since it has been used in several of my accounts throughout the year.
When it was in beta, as usual, it needed to be added via whitelisting with a Google rep. Right now, it can be found in the ‘ad extensions’ tab:

review extension

Some detailed instructions on how to set it up can be found here.
In practice, the review extension ends up looking like this:

Review extension 2

Some overall general points:

–In order for it to show (like with most extensions), your ad needs to be in top three positioning.
–Even in the instance your ad is in top 3 positioning, there is not a guarantee the extension will serve; it is subject to various other factors.
–It can show alongside everything but offer extensions.
–The quote & source name must fit into a slender 67 characters or less.
–You can attempt to use a paraphrased quote; an exact quote is more likely to get approved.
–You must provide a link to the source of where the quote originates.
–The review must come from a reputable third-party source. In other words, your friend’s blog won’t cut it.

Pros & Cons

–Although this isn’t an overall con, since it is fairly new, there isn’t too much data on it yet. It appears as though it can only be good for your clients; time will tell.
–It takes up extra real-estate, which, generally speaking, always seems to be a pro and possibly leads to a higher click-through-rate.
–For a lesser-known brand, it lends some trust and credibility.
–That being said, this could favor larger, better-known brands with full PR departments. Also, in the instance these really take off, it might put pressure on small & mid-size businesses. (Credit @katiewalton85)
–Per the experience of Bryant Garvin, PPC & Online Media Executive (@BryantGarvin) – he had quite a bit of success on the CTR front, so he recommends it in the instance ‘you can jump through the hoops & happen to have a review that fits. You are more likely to not fit the criteria than to fit it’. From my personal experience, with one of my clients, I had to read through nearly 20 positive write-ups from reputable sources to find a worthwhile quote within the character limit.
–The review extension could assert a claim that you intended to put in your ad copy, so by running the extension, this could free up additional room in your ad copy (@JBGuru) – however, it’s important to bear in mind that the review extension won’t always serve.
Overall, in the two accounts I’ve run this in, I saw a small lift in CTR.  However, my clients loved it, especially when it was served on a SERP with a ton of competitor ads running. Overall, if you can meet the criteria, I’d recommend giving it a try.

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