Google Star Rating
Nowadays you may have seen a number of links in Google search results showing stars just below the search links. Those stars are called Google Rating Stars and is displayed just below the Site Title in Google Search Results. Google Star Ratings uses up one line of your search engine listing and adds stars and an author byline to your search results.
These kind of Star Ratings can be easily added to your blog if you are using WordPress by using WordPress plugins.
Why Should You Add Google Star Rating?
The simple reason that it makes the search listing look quite good could be enough for many to add Google Star Ratings to their Blog but adding Google Star Rating not only does add a a visual appeal to the search listing but also increases the Click Through Rates of the searching listing since basically most people prefer stuffs which are visually attracting. Google Star Ratings helps a lot if your post is a review post or if your blog is a review blog or a blog which frequently reviews stuffs.
How to Add Google Star Ratings
Google Star Ratings can be easily added using WordPress plugins without even touching a code. Google Star Ratings was introduced by Google in 2009 and had not got much popular till just a few months ago when Google introduced the Authorship Markup snippets. Since then Webmaster have been going gaga over wanting to show their photo and bylines in Google search listings as well as wanting to show star ratings for their blog posts. Here I list two WordPress plugins using which you can add Google Star Ratings To Your WordPress Blog.
GD Star Ratings
GD Star Ratings was the first plugin which was released which used microformats to display start ratings in Google search results. With GD Star Rating you can display Stars just below your post and comments and in turn your visitors can rate your article or comments by giving it a rating from 10 Stars. The stars are shown just below your blog posts. You can also add a thumb rating to your articles.
Since this plugin uses microformat or RDF your post will be displayed in the search engines in the following manner.
While the plugin shows 10 Stars from which the visitors can rate your post, Due to Google specifications, Google accepts any range for ratings, but always will normalize that to 5 stars max with half star step. So if your post has review of 8.3, Google will display that as 4.
Author hReview is a plugin release by Hesham Zabida of Famous Bloggers. He had first actually intended to release the plugin as a paid one for Thesis Theme framework but later on he decided to release it for general WordPress users too and that too for free. The plugin can be downloaded from the WordPress.org repository or from the main site Authorhreview.com itself. This plugin adds hReview and AggregateRating support based on schema.org, increase search traffic by making SERP results more eye-catching.
As you can see in the above image, you can add the details about the product you are reviewing in a panel which gets added in the post editing page after you have installed the plugin.
Certainly, if you use the above plugins to display stars in the search results you will be having more CTR for your search results and thus more traffic and also more sales and conversions. But it is important that you provide a honest review of the products you are reviewing. Try not to use it at each and every post your write on your blog. Use the review stars only when you are reviewing some good stuff.