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CarMax Gets Their PPC Ads Highlighted With Stars

Google User Reviews

Recently one of my clients asked me how he can get his Google Adwords listings to include the review counts as shown above for I wanted to write a post to make a distinction between Google Seller Rating (shown above) and the newly released Google Boost.

In the example above, Google Seller Ratings are included on Google Adwords campaigns. Google Boost is not Adwords and it is controlled from within Google Places. Secondly, the Google Seller Ratings has a number of parameters that must be met in order to qualify for "star" treatment.

Google Boost Is Different Than Adwords

Google Boost is a way to create a simple ad based on your data in Google Places. If you have good consumer reviews on your Google Places listing, I recommend that you test Google Boost.


We have been collecting data on Google Boost campaigns and I will be sharing the data from various tests at the upcoming 2nd Annual Automotive Marketing Boot Camp. I'll be conducting a workshop on Automotive SEO and Google Places optimization and Boost will be part of the curriculum.

Requirements for Google Seller Ratings

According to Google's website:

Seller rating extensions does this by attaching your merchant star rating from Google Product Search to your AdWords ads. These star ratings, aggregated from review sites all around the web, allow people to find merchants that are highly recommended by online shoppers like them.

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. What’s more, you’ll only be charged if someone clicks on the headline of your ad - clicks on the review link are free.

So, for car dealers who operate a parts website or an extended warranty website,

  • Your Online Store needs to be published in Google Product Search
  • You have to have 4 or more stars
  • You have to have at least 30 reviews

Then your rating will automatically be added to your PPC listing.

CarMax Using Google Seller Reviews

CarMax Integrates Their Inventory With Google Product Search

What is interesting is that got the their website into Google Product Search by getting it classified as an online store.

Now their website looks like a typical dealership website, shown below, except they took the time to integrate their inventory into Google Product Search. I don't know about you, but the fact that their Google Adwords ads have "stars" really makes them stand-out from the other Google text ads that surround them.

I would suggest that dealers discuss getting their inventory and website setup with the Google Product Search database. There are some helpful instructions in the Google Merchant Center on how you would load your inventory into Google Product Search. Basically, it looks like submitted a compliant Data Feed for all their cars.

I have not seen any other car dealers setup their inventory in such a way to get the star ratings, so it looks like a wide open opportunity.

CarMax Google Product Search


Seller Ratings Differentiate Ads


With increased competition for online advertising space, it is clear to me that Seller Ratings can make a difference on which paid ads will be clicked. There are so many ways to tweak and enhance your online advertising strategies so keep up on your reading and digital marketing education!

If you like to learn more about Automotive SEM, come out to the Automotive Marketing Boot Camp, April 16-18th in Orlando for great hands on training and cutting edge strategies. You can see the full schedule of classes at

Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing

Views: 413

Tags: automotive advertising, automotive sem, carmax, google adwords, google product reviews, pcg digital marketing


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Comment by Alexander Lau on October 7, 2014 at 8:21am

Better get your inventory schema going folks, keyword manipulation is going to DIE and quickly!

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