July 27, 2010, 4:26 PM

Google gains access to more ratings and reviews

PowerReviews strikes a deal to provide reviews to the search engine.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

PowerReviews Inc. has struck a deal with Google Inc. to offer product ratings and reviews for shoppers seeking items through the search engine. It’s the latest in a series of deals to make ratings and reviews show up more prominently in online search results.

The service went live this week, says Pehr Luedtke, CEO of PowerReviews. “Clearly, many consumers depend on search for shopping, from conducting initial research to making the final purchase,” he says. “Providing high-quality product review content within Google gives our clients opportunities to enhance search listings, increase brand awareness and drive sales through every stage of the shopping process.”

The deals means that ratings and reviews from sites operated by PowerReviews’ retail clients can show up through Google search results, product searches and advertising programs. A consumer will be able to, for instance, click on the shopping tab on the Google search site, enter a product and, within the results, find reviews for that product and the merchant selling it.

“Google collects reviews and ratings from merchants and from partners, and aggregates these on our pages,” a spokesman for the search engine says.

PowerReviews works with at least 1,000 retailer clients and 3,500 web sites. Retailers can choose to automatically provide Google with full-text reviews. “I expect a significant number of our retailer clients to take part,” Luedtke says.

The PowerReviews moves follows a similar one announced in April that enables the 800 retailer and manufacturer clients of vendor Bazaarvoice to provide ratings and reviews to shoppers on Google. Those reviews appear in Google Product Search, Google’s shopping search engine, and on Google.com, both in natural search results and paid ads placed through Google’s AdWords system.

Ratings and reviews from another vendor, ResellerRatings.com, also appear on Google, along with TheFind.com and ShopWiki.com, and others. And earlier this summer, ResellerRatings.com inked a deal with Bing, the search engine operated by Microsoft Corp., to give shoppers access to more than 430,000 customer-generated reviews of retailers.

Comments | 2 Responses

  • Sounds great, but the monthly fee levied by Power Reviews for this seems exorbitant (>$500/mo). Perhaps Google should deploy a 'free' version as they seem likely to gain clicks as a result of this strategy.

  • It's a great development indeed. Also starting to see the STELLAService seal (professional, independent customer service rating/seal) appear in search listings on major comparison engines like TheFind (http://bit.ly/9BEYao). Shoppers need more information and more transparency when it comes to the quality of merchants. Since price and selection are becoming increasingly comparable across sites, the ultimate purchasing decisions are now being driven by consumers' perceptions and expectations of service quality. The more user-driven (ResellerRatings) and expert-driven (STELLAService) ratings/information out there, the more efficient the marketplace will become.

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