In our recent blog post, Is Google Looking for Diversity in Reviews?, we presented a case study on reviews and diversity in review results. In this study, we concluded that Google keeps one-star reviews no longer at the top of a listing than five-star reviews. But we also found in this study that it’s not the most recent reviews that stay at the top of the list either. So, the next thing we looked at was the length of reviews. We wanted to see if a longer review (a larger word count) would stay at the top longer than a shorter review.
In case you missed our last blog post, we started this case study by tracking reviews on a lawn care website. After six months we decided to include more industries in this test (first a jeweller, then a marketing company and finally a craftsman). See picture on the left.
What we noticed:
In the image below, you can see that the average one-star rating was 244 words, while the average five-star rating was 74 words.
And that makes sense, because we all know that people who leave one-star reviews usually like to write paragraphs because they’re upset, while people who leave five-star reviews often just write a sentence or two.
We found a very strong correlation between the length of a review and the length of time it stayed at the top of the company’s review profile. In the image below, you can see that the longer a review was (the more words were in the review), the longer it stayed in the top 10 (or 11 in the case of the lawn care website).
Encourage customers to write longer reviews (over 100 words). Since longer reviews tend to stay at the top of a listing longer, this is a good way to ensure your best reviews stay at the top of a listing for the longest time.