I was pleasantly surprised today to see the golden stars return in Google. I have also noticed it’s not showing on all searches I do, so I hope it’s not just a test and that it’s actually coming back to local. I see it logged in, but not in “incognito”. I am only searching in Chrome… so not sure if browsers matter. If this is coming back, then this will dramatically help increase the CTRs again.
I’ve talked in the past how I believe when those golden stars left the local SERPs it decreased CTRs before. I’ll for sure be looking at CTRs in Google Places and Google+ Local page dashboard insights/analytics in the coming weeks to see if we get an increase in CTRs again. If so, then we’ll know for sure how much this affects things. I am pretty much sold that it helps improve CTRs, but if anyone has other insight in the matter please do share.
It looks like they are a little different than before because they now the the rating score back to out 5 stars next to the stars. I personally like and welcome the golden stars back with open arms! This is sooooo much better than the previous Zagat rating out 30 (which no one ever understood).
Who else is seeing this? Share your comments below.