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Lower CTR from seller ratings extention

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# 1
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Has anyone seen a lower CTR on ads that show the seller rating extension?


We recently implemented these and they look great in the SERPs. We have a 5 star composite rating (our customers love us), much higher than any of our competitors. The extensions began showing on our ads about a month ago.


The problem is, search ad impressions that include the seller rating are converting 20% lower, compared to impressions during the same period without the seller rating. That's a pretty significant decrease.


It doesn't make that much sense to me, and is certainly the opposite in terms of results than what I've heard everywhere. Is it possible that our 5 star ratings extension could actually be driving people off?? I'm wondering if other people have experienced negative results from this extension (and are keeping quiet about it....). And if so, did you figure out why?

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Lower CTR from seller ratings extention

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

*TL;DR: Seller ratings may only be showing on poor performing keywords (such as non-brand) making comparable performance look bad.


Hey Wes,

It's possible that conversions rates don't go down when seller ratings are shown, but rather conversion rate is lower on queries that trigger seller ratings. You state that not all queries cause ads to show with seller ratings and it's possible that this unique set of queries has a naturally higher conversion rate than those that do trigger seller ratings.

Unfortunately, there isn't a way to segment automated extensions data by search terms (or vice versa). The most granular unit that you can segment by is ad group. This could be useful to you if you have tightly themed ad groups so here is what I recommend:

1) At the account level (not drilled down to any campaigns) go to the "Ad extensions" tab and select "View: automated extensions report". Add "Campaign" and "Ad group" as columns. For the date range use a start date of when you launched Seller Ratings. Export to Excel

2) Go to the "Ad Groups" tab and download a basic ad group report for the same time range.

3) Connect the data from the two reports at an ad group level and then determine which ad groups have a very high percent of impressions that show seller ratings. Take these ad groups only and run a pre/post analysis of CTR and conversion rate to try to understand the real impact of seller ratings.

* Also consider downloading your data with different segments. For example, "Network (with search partners)" is useful to look at since there are fewer opportunities for seller ratings to show on search partners. Because of this it would be best to compare seller ratings performance on just Google to normal performance on just Google.

Jim Vaillancourt, AdWords Top Contributor, LinkedIn
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Re: Lower CTR from seller ratings extention

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

I agree with @JimVaillancourt here;

I don't think that you can statistically  compare since you can't know which query triggered the ad and the  extension;

Also ad extension cannot be tested with AdWords campaigns experiments.

So, I would be "skeptical" that the reason fro the lower CTR is the seller rating extension. 


Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Lower CTR from seller ratings extention

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# 4
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If that's the case, of what the other two experts have said, can you try another extension type for poor performing keywords?

Re: Lower CTR from seller ratings extention

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# 5
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Thanks @JimVaillancourt. That's definitely a likely possibility - that the extensions are showing more often on ad impressions that would naturally have a lower CTR anyways. (I said "converting" earlier, but what I really meant was impressions to clicks. My bad... but the basic problem is the same). It could also be possible that - for some reason - the extension is showing more often on ad impressions with a lower ad rank, which would falsely give the appearance of poor performance.

As you said, our ability to perform analysis on this is pretty limited since we can't drill down deeper than the ad group level. Actually in all of my ad groups about 60% of ad impressions show the seller rating extension. But in some ad groups, impressions that show the seller rating extension give a higher CTR, and in other ad groups its lower. Without being able to drill down deeper, and short of actually reorganizing ad groups for testing (which isn't practical), I'm not really able to identify any meaningful correlating factors from that data.

Comparing different segments in the Automated Extensions report is a good idea - it could give us hints about what's happening at least. For example, perhaps the device could be a factor. CTR on our ads varies depending on the device, and perhaps the seller rating extension shows more often on certain devices.

In any case, it seems like there is a general agreement, as @MosheTLV said, that it's unlikely that the seller rating extension is the reason for the lower CTR. It's more likely that we're just not able to see what's really going on with the available data. The best we can do, it seems, is make an educated guess.

I would definitely be interested to hear if anyone else has had a similar issue and was able to identify a reason for it. I actually know people who have dropped seller ratings extensions entirely after seeing results like this, so I know I'm not the only one! It doesn't seem to have been talked about much in forums or blogs.