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Google Ratings vs. Reviews: Differences Explained


Reviews matter to consumers. Our research revealed that more than half of consumers have passed up a business due to their local ratings and reviews. Ratings and reviews are important, especially on Google and your Google Business Profiles (GBPs). Why? Because consumers choose Google more than twice as often as any other platform when looking for local business information online. 


In this article, we’ll explain the importance of Google ratings and reviews, their impact on your business, and the difference between them.


What Are Google Ratings and Reviews?


Google ratings are numerical scores given to your business ranging between one and five stars.


Google reviews are the written text that often accompanies ratings. A no-text review is considered a rating since it’s just a numerical score. Once a Google user adds text to their rating, the rating is considered a review. 


Here’s an example of a Google rating and review:

Google Ratings and Reviews Example on DICK's Sporting Goods GBP, Laptop Overlay


The Importance of Google Ratings and Reviews


As we mentioned earlier, Google’s the most popular search engine globally, and reviews impact consumers’ purchase decisions and conversions heavily. Google ratings and reviews also influence local search rankings


Impact on Local Search Rankings:


According to local SEO experts, “high numerical Google ratings (e.g., 4-5 stars)” is the sixth most important local pack/finder ranking factor, and “quantity of native Google reviews (w/ text)” is the eighth highest factor.


Furthermore, data in our Top Ranking and Conversion Factors for Local Search research report revealed that the top-ranking GBP averages 404 reviews, and those ranked second average 375 reviews. As you can see, the volume and quality of ratings and reviews affect your GBPs’ local search rankings. 


Impact on Conversions:


Google ratings and reviews also influence conversions, which are defined as website clicks, phone call, or request for driving directions on your GBPs. Our The State of Google Reviews research report found these correlations between reviews and conversions:



Light green background with a black title and navy blue bullet point text showing stats on the state of google reviews



Now that you understand the importance and impact Google ratings and reviews have on your local businesses, it’s time to develop a reputation management strategy. It’s important to monitor reviews from customers and respond to your Google reviews — particularly negative ones.  Download The Multi-Location Marketer’s Guide to Online Reputation Management for detailed review management and response tips.



CTA for the Online Reputation Management Guide for Multi-Location Marketers



If you’re having difficulty responding to your Google reviews and reviews on other platforms, consider using SOCi Genius Reviews. Our online reputation management software recently integrated with Open AI’s GPT-4. This AI integration helps automate your review response by writing customizable and highly intelligent responses to consumers. 


Request a demo today to learn more about SOCi Genius Reviews and how we can help your business dominate its reputation management strategy!

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