Your Guide to How Google Calculates Review Scores

By Madison Ashby

5 min read

If you’ve looked at your Google review score recently, you may have noticed that your overall rating doesn’t necessarily reflect the average stars your customers submitted. In school, we are taught the Bayesian average to find the average of a series of numbers. While Google uses a similar equation when calculating review scores, they consider numerous other factors as well. Continue reading to discover how Google calculates review scores.

How Are Google Review Scores Calculated?

Google evaluates review scores based on a variety of signals, including:

  1. Listing Optimization and Completion
  2. Site traffic
  3. Review Management and Quality of Reviewers

With these in mind, you have more control over your Google review rating than you may have previously thought. There are some easy things you can do to improve your overall score right now.

Optimize Your Google Listing to Improve Review Score

The first thing you can do to improve your overall Google review score is to take a look at your business listing. Google makes it incredibly easy to complete your listing by showing you a progress report on your Google My Business dashboard. Your dashboard will remind you of what outstanding items need attention to optimize the listing. Be sure to add photos of your storefront and team members, your logo, hours, and a background image. By completing your listing, you’ll improve your local search rank, which can increase your site traffic, leaving you with a higher review score.

Actively Manage Your Google Reviews to Improve Star Rating

Responding to comments left by customers– both positive reviews or negative reviews– is another way to optimize your Google listing and improve your average rating. Be sure to answer all Google reviews promptly and with A+ customer service. Not only will the reviewer be notified when you respond, but also other users can see how you manage feedback.

The quality of the reviewer is another factor that may impact the weight a review carries. For instance, a review from a user who is part of the Local Guides program may carry more weight than a review from a user who has only left one Google review in their lifetime. Although you have no control over whether or not a Local Guide leaves you a review, it is good to be aware that their feedback may be weighted more heavily.

Although you don’t have total control over what customers will say, thankfully, with Google’s algorithm, a one-star review will not plummet your overall score. An updated listing, high site traffic, and a strong presence will overshadow a lousy review, ultimately leaving your score unaffected.

Handle Fake Reviews That Are Impacting Your Review Score

While a one-star review won’t bring down your overall score, it can leave a lasting impression on potential customers. According to a study conducted by BrightLocal, 9 in 10 people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This statistic magnifies the importance of customer reviews and how detrimental a fake one can be. Fake reviews are more likely to use exclamation marks and make specific demands. If you think someone left a fake review on your business listing, the best solution is to report it to Google.

close-up of a review left my customer

Why is Google Showing Review Scores From Other Websites?

In addition to showing your Google review score, sometimes reviews from other websites, including Facebook, Tripadvisor, and Yelp, will appear on Google Search Knowledge Panel and Google Maps. These local reviews are taken from other review sites and automatically added to Google listings when the search engine crawls the web. To visit the review website where a third-party review occurred, click on the review score, reviewer name, or the number of reviews.

For assistance handling your Google listing and collecting more local business reviews, contact the review management specialists at Front Porch Solutions. We have years of experience helping business owners like you improve review scores, generate more reviews, and implement a successful management strategy.

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