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Google AdWords Tips: Review Extensions

September 13, 2015

Build credibility by letting established companies sing your praises!

Not long ago, advertisers who wanted to use a testimonial in their ads had to use their description lines to run the endorsement, leaving no chance to communicate their unique benefits.

Thanks to review extensions, you can keep your descriptions, and get a glowing review on the side.

What Review Extensions Look Like

Review Extensions

Benefits of AdWords Review Extensions

As Google puts it, review extensions are the “don’t take our word for it” tool for your search ads. With this extension, you can:

  • Build trust and credibility with your audience.
  • Quote reputable third-parties dishing praise for your product or company.

As with all AdWords extensions, review extensions let you:

  • Get an extra line of text to communicate your value.
  • Increase your CTR, thereby boosting your Quality Score and lowering your costs.

How Review Extensions Work


There’s no additional cost to run AdWords review extensions. Clicks to the review source are not charged (most people will click the headline, not your review, so you still get the traffic in almost all cases). Clicks on your ad to your website incur normal charges.

Constraints & Requirements

  • You may paraphrase the review or use a direct quote.
  • You have 67 characters to use for both the quote and its source.
  • The source must be published on a reputable third-party site.
  • These endorsements can’t be used:
    • Individual, personal reviews
    • “Gated content” requiring a login to access
    • Links back to your own site
    • Outdated reviews (“Best Place to Work in 2007”)

Constraints & Requirements

What to Expect

Google claims that AdWords review extensions can boost clickthrough rate by up to 10%.

It is difficult to measure the true impact of adding the review extension, since it is only eligible to show when the ad is in a top position and likely to get clicked anyway. There’s also no way to A/B test.

That said, we’ve never seen the CTR of review extensions drop below average, and we are in favor of ad enhancements even when they can’t be precisely measured!

Strategic Tips

Not all praise is created equal! Choose reviews that build credibility and entice your prospects. You may be very proud of your “most improved surgeon” award, but that may not instill confidence in your potential patients.

Be aware that Google AdWords is serious about its requirement for reputable third-party sources. We’ve seen advertisers unsuccessfully try linking to the following sources:

  • A sponsored third-party (“advertorial”) review
  • A customer review on a review site such as yelp
  • A legitimate review in a publication site that required a login
  • Industry awards that are only published on their own site or in a PDF

Next Steps

  1. Gather up the URLs that host your glowing third-party reviews and send them along to your account manager.
  2. We’ll make sure there aren’t any concerns, write up a a review that fits the character spec, and send it back to you for final approval.
  3. After a manual review process from AdWords (currently around 2 days), your accolades will be ready to run with your ads!

Other Resources

At Blast, we help organizations analyze data to support their decision making. Analytics insights don’t provide value, unless you take action. If you’re interested in tips on how to take action and improve performance in digital marketing, stay glued to our blog as we will be publishing a series of high impact Google AdWords Tips and other digital marketing tips that demonstrate our commitment to “Take Action!

Amy Hebdon
About the Author

Amy is Director of Paid Search at Blast Analytics & Marketing. She has over 10 years experience optimizing paid search campaigns to hit aggressive KPIs, and loves the industry's unique ability to measure the impact of creative marketing.

Amy Hebdon has written on the Blast Digital Customer Experience and Analytics Blog.

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