Google tells retailers the Trusted Stores program is shutting down. The new program, Google Customer Reviews, will be managed by Google Merchant Center.

Last month, we reported that Google would be shutting down Google Trusted Stores, its six-year-old ratings and certification program, and replacing it with Google Customer Reviews. That time has come. Google announced the transition in a blog post-Monday.

About Google Customer Reviews

The new, leaner program picks up the seller rating piece of the Google Trusted Stores program only. It is available through Google Merchant Center, the hub for advertisers’ product feeds used to power shopping ads.

The Google Customer Reviews program solicits and collects ratings and feedback from customers through Google surveys on behalf of advertisers. Advertisers place the code that triggers a survey opt-in after a customer completes a transaction. The surveys are emailed to customers with questions about the shopping experience. Those reviews will count toward a merchant’s seller rating, aggregated ratings across a number of review sources.

The new Google Customer Reviews badge.

Participating merchants have the option of displaying the Google Customer Reviews badge on their sites showing the aggregate seller rating if enough are available.

The consumer protection piece of the Trusted Stores program has been retired. The Trusted Stores icon is no longer appearing in shopping ads, and former Trusted Stores participating sites now have the Google Customer Ratings badges showing in their footers.

Last August, Google raised the minimum number of reviews needed for seller rating stars to display in shopping and text ads from 30 to 150 in the past 12 months.

How to get started

Merchants that were already in the Trusted Stores program have been migrated automatically.

New merchants can access Google Customer Reviews through Merchant Center. Click the three-dot menu option in the upper right-hand corner of the dashboard and select “Merchant Center Programs.” There you’ll find the new option for Google Customer Reviews. Once you agree to the terms, you’ll get the survey opt-in code to add to your site, along with the optional badge code.

Google Customer Reviews is available in 23 countries, including the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia.

By Ginny Marv

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