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The Struggles Are Real: Review Extensions

The Struggles Are Real: Review Extensions

At first glance, Google AdWords’ mythical Review Extension appears to be a wondrous new way to persuade people to click your ad. According to Google, review extensions can increase your click through rate (CTR) by up to 10%! But many have found that review extensions are not all they appear to be.
Even if you follow Google’s rules & guidelines for getting your review extensions approved, it doesn’t insure your extension will be accepted. For a good analysis on setting up review extensions, see PPC Hero’s article Get an Edge on Competitors With Review Extensions.

Like everyone else, we’ve struggled to have our reviews approved, with only a couple being accepted. So we decided to change our method, with the motto:
“It doesn’t hurt to try!”
So we started trying everything, from breaking Google’s rules to switching up the settings. And well we found some things that work! Here are the 5 lessons we learned:

5 Ways to Get Your Review Extensions Approved

1. Don’t Give Up!

Not all companies are alike, so there is no single place to find reviews. There are plenty of obstacles to finding a good source of reviews. Some companies don’t have an online presence beyond their website and PPC campaigns. Other companies work in industries that lack a rating system. So while some companies might not have a good source for review extensions keep trying and don’t give up!

2. Start with the Best

Our go to ad extension is the Better Business Bureau! It’s really easy to look up any company and stick on a review extension stating the rating. And it’ll give customers piece of mind.


3. Paraphrasing!

For a while we had nearly given up on some of our review extensions because even though we pulled direct quotes, setting them to “exact quote” didn’t work. Out of curiosity we set those rejected extensions to “paraphrased” and they were accepted! It’s possible that the paraphrased reviews are put under less scrutiny, but we won’t question it as long as it’s working.

4. Creativity is Key

It would be great to have an article from the New York Times or a leading industry journal for every client, but in most cases it isn’t possible or necessary.
We have had great success with creating review extensions from factual sites including text about a list of offerings, statement of certification, or statement of recognition.

Ex1: Websites similar to Avvo, a credited site which rates Lawyers, provides statements that could be potentially accepted by Google:

Ex2: Websites similar to The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery website/database provides information about a doctor’s certifications:

Ex3: Basic real estate websites mention the apartment’s offerings:

5. Break the Rules

At the end of the day, things sometimes get by Google unexpectedly so it doesn’t hurt to try. For example, we have some ad extensions approved that are from articles dating over a year ago. Other successful extensions include the company’s name, which is strongly discouraged by Google. This is still a new technology for businesses AND Google, so sometimes basic logic doesn’t apply. Just try whatever you find, and if it doesn’t work try something else!



So if you’re having trouble getting your reviews accepted, you are not alone. Break the rules – Be creative – And don’t forget “it doesn’t hurt to try!”
Let us know what’s worked and hasn’t worked for you! Maybe together we can discover the key to getting all review extensions approved.


Davis Baker
Davis is the PPC Team Lead at Forthea and a digital advertising veteran of six years. Outside of the office, you can find Davis running, riding his dirt bike, or searching for the perfect cup of coffee (freshly ground and brewed with a French press. Anything less just won't cut it).


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