Google’s John Mueller claims that when it comes to online search results, customer feedback is still not taken into account.
This topic was discussed during the Google Search Center SEO Hangout recorded on August 6, 2021.
Mueller responded that customer reviews are not a factor in web searches, but in terms of gaining visibility, they are not completely irrelevant in Google.
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Customer Reviews & SEO
Although Google displays information about customer reviews in search results, such as aggregated star ratings, they are not factors that determine the ranking of web content.
The rich results from Google customer reviews may give the impression that they are used as ranking signals, but this is not the case.
However, as Mueller mentioned in his answer, customer feedback is used elsewhere in Google searches:
To be fair, Google My Business is not a department of Mueller, but it will definitely consider customer feedback.
When doing a local search, the business information package that appears at the top of Google is ranked based on its own set of factors.
Google is transparent about these factors and described them in a help guide titled “How Google Determines Local Ranking.”
The prominent ranking factor refers to the popularity of the company.
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One of Google’s methods for evaluating popularity is to look at customer reviews. The “Google My Business Help Guide” confirms that both the number of reviews and the average score are considered when ranking local results-customer reviews will not help (or harm) the company’s web search results, but will affect your Google ranking of my business information.
This is consistent with previously known customer reviews and their impact on Google search. There is a common misunderstanding among business owners that customer reviews will affect search rankings, so this is a topic worth revisiting from time to time.