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Reviews gain new prominence on Google

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Shoppers using Google to look for products will now find star ratings and reviews in their search results to help them decide whether to buy. The development comes courtesy of a new partnership between social media technology company Bazaarvoice and Google.

It means reviews that previously appeared on companies’ websites, through the Bazaarvoice service will now also be visible when consumers search on Google for products or manufacturers sold through Bazaarvoice clients’ websites.

Retailers will also now be able to insert product star ratings into their Google advertising. Ads will display the number of users to review a product as well the average star-rating they gave under a five-star system.

Sameer Samat, director of product management at Google said: “Consumer reviews have become a driving force for online purchasing. If we look back five years ago, it was editorial reviews by experts. Now the Internet has allowed ordinary people to have a voice, and that voice is very influential. With this program, we are reaching out to retailers and manufacturers and to use more of this content."

Jon Rudoe, head of retail at Ocado, a Bazaarvoice Ratings and Reviews client, welcomed the move. “Google’s decision to integrate such review content is a smart one and highly welcome," he said. "For us it should mean more people viewing online food shopping with an even greater amount of confidence.”

The news comes days after Bazaarvoice announced Nielsen would be integrating its reviews with its BuzzMetrics dashboard, tracking social media, blogs and websites for mention of a brand.

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