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Understanding Google Star Rating System – A Comprehensive Guide

google star rating

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

With over 3.5 billion Google searches conducted daily, having a high star rating on Google is crucial for businesses to attract and retain customers. But what exactly is the Google star rating system, and how does it work? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of Google star ratings, exploring the factors that determine your rating, the benefits of having a high rating, and strategies for improving your rating. So let’s get started and unlock the secrets of the Google star rating system!

How Google Star Rating System Works

What factors determine the star rating?

The Google star rating system is based on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. The rating is determined by a complex algorithm that considers several factors such as the number of reviews, the overall sentiment of the reviews, and the relevance of the reviews to the business. The algorithm also considers the reviewer’s authority and the quality of the review.

How reviews are collected and aggregated Google collects reviews from various sources.

Google My Business, third-party review sites, and social media platforms contribute to your score. The reviews are then aggregated and displayed on the business’s Google search results page. Google also uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to filter out fake reviews and spam.

Can Google show a 4.8-star rating when I have 5 stars?

Yes, it happens at times. The reason is that you have a review score average on Google that doesn’t match the score on the actual reviews on your business listing.

To solve this problem, simply wait a few days as Google updates the star system score. Ideally, this process could take up to 2 weeks since Google doesn’t update the scores in real-time.

In the past, Google relied on a system of the Bayesian average to give scores for a business. They got rid of this system in 2017.

Importance of recency and frequency of reviews

The recency and frequency of reviews play a crucial role in determining a business’s star rating. Google favors businesses that have a steady stream of recent reviews as it indicates that the business is actively engaged with its customers.

A high frequency of positive reviews can also improve a business’s rating, while a sudden influx of negative reviews can cause a drop in the rating. Therefore, businesses must encourage customers to leave reviews regularly and respond promptly to any negative reviews.

How important is the star rating system by Google?

Let’s take a look:

  • According to a 2021 survey by BrightLocal, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and 33% of consumers would not consider using a business with a star rating lower than four.
  • A study by Moz found that businesses with a 5-star rating on Google My Business are 39% more likely to be visited than those with a 1-star rating.
  • According to a 2020 report by ReviewTrackers, businesses with a 4-star rating or higher on Google are more likely to be chosen by customers than those with a lower rating.
  • A study by Womply found that businesses with a star rating of 4.0 to 4.5 on Google My Business generate the highest average revenue, compared to businesses with a lower or higher rating.
  • BrightLocal found that businesses with 25 or more Google reviews have an average star rating of 4.5, and businesses with less than 25 reviews have an average star rating of 4.0.

Does it benefit SERP?

Google star ratings are crucial in local search rankings and can significantly influence a business’s online reputation. These ratings are powered by consumer reviews across various platforms and are determined by an algorithm calculating the average rating.

When people search on Google, they may come across star ratings on various listings, including standard blue links, ads, recipe cards, local pack results, third-party review sites, and app store results. Although Google has confirmed that star ratings and customer reviews do not directly impact web search rankings, they play a significant role in local search rankings.

 A Google search advocate, John Mueller confirmed that “Google review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’s local ranking.”

Star ratings can serve as a vital conversion element by displaying social proof and building credibility, even if they are not a ranking factor for organic search.

Benefits of Having a High Star Rating

Increased visibility on Google search results

Having a high star rating on Google can improve a business’s visibility on search results. Google displays the star rating prominently in the search results, making it easier for potential customers to spot businesses with high ratings. This increased visibility can lead to more clicks, visits, and business.

Increased credibility and trust among customers

A high star rating can also increase a business’s credibility and customer trust. Customers are likelier to choose a business with a high rating over a business with a low rating. A high rating indicates that the business provides quality products or services and has satisfied customers.

Positive impact on SEO and website traffic

A high star rating can also positively impact a business’s SEO and website traffic. Google considers reviews and ratings as a ranking factor, and a high rating can improve a business’s search engine ranking. This improved ranking can increase website traffic, resulting in more leads, sales, and revenue.

Strategies for Improving Your Star Rating

Encouraging customers to leave reviews

One of the most effective ways to improve a business’s star rating on Google is to encourage customers to leave reviews. Businesses can ask customers to leave reviews after purchasing via email, or through their website. It’s important to make the process as straightforward as possible and provide customers with clear instructions on leaving a review.

Responding to reviews, both positive and negative

Responding to positive and negative reviews can also improve a business’s star rating. Responding to 4 star reviews can show customers that the business values their feedback and appreciates their business. Responding to negative reviews can demonstrate to customers that the business takes their feedback seriously and is willing to address any issues.

Responding promptly and professionally to all reviews is important, as this can improve a business’s reputation and customer loyalty.

Implementing changes based on customer feedback

Businesses should analyze customer feedback to identify areas for improvement and make changes accordingly. This can include improving the quality of products or services, enhancing the customer experience, or addressing any issues raised in negative reviews.

Making changes based on customer feedback can demonstrate to customers that the business is committed to providing quality products or services and can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

You can also rely on Review Grower which is an extremely powerful tool to grow your business. Start for FREE today by signing up and provide the best experience to your customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Google star rating system calculated?

The Google star rating system is based on an algorithm that considers the number of reviews, the recency of the reviews, and the overall rating of the reviews.

How does Google prevent businesses from manipulating their star rating by leaving fake reviews?

Google has a variety of measures in place to detect and remove fake reviews, such as using algorithms to identify patterns of suspicious activity, and manually reviewing reported reviews.

Can businesses respond to reviews on their Google My Business profile?

Businesses can respond to reviews on their Google My Business profile. Responding to reviews is an important way for businesses to engage with their customers and demonstrate their commitment to customer service.

Can a business dispute a negative review on its Google My Business profile?

Businesses can flag a Google review as inappropriate or inaccurate and request that Google removes it. However, this process can be difficult, and Google will only remove a review  if it violates its guidelines.

Google provides businesses with a variety of insights and analytics related to their star rating and reviews, such as the total number of views, searches, and actions taken on their Google My Business profile, Google Maps, as well as the keywords and phrases customers use to find their business.


We discussed the Google star rating system and how it works. We explored the factors determining a business’s star rating, how reviews are collected and aggregated, and the importance of recency and frequency of reviews. We also discussed the benefits of having a high star rating, including increased visibility on Google search results, increased credibility and trust among customers, and a positive impact on SEO and website traffic. Finally, we shared strategies for improving a business’s star rating, such as encouraging customers to leave reviews, responding to reviews, and implementing changes based on customer feedback.

The Google star rating system is a powerful tool for businesses to improve their online reputation, attract customers, and increase revenue. A high star rating can indicate to potential customers that a business is trustworthy, provides quality products or services, and has satisfied customers, which leads to a positive review.

Make sure to sign up and check out our 30 days free trial of our system which aids you on all your needs pertaining reviews.

Joe Troyer

Joe Troyer is the Founder of Review Grower. He is leading expert in all things Internet Marketing: Pay Per Click Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Google Business, Reputation Management, Landing Page Conversion, and Call Tracking.

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