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In some search results Google displays nice stars and total reviews on particular webpage, it looks pretty cool, and I would like to know how does Google know, how many reviews this website has and what is actual score for reviews.

Is there some kind of special API for that or might be some special tags?

example search query

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Outside of Google's place pages they also have "rich snippets" which are generated from microdata/microformats/RDFa used on your website here is their support page http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=99170

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Here's some additional tips and tricks knol.google.com/k/google-rich-snippets-tips-and-tricks# – Joshak Nov 17 '10 at 16:57
+1 Interesting, I'd always assumed that the reviews were generated off-site only. – Lèse majesté Nov 18 '10 at 17:29
Yeah it's something they launched in the last year or so (at least it seems that way sometimes I lose track of time), and they have not promoted real heavily anywhere. – Joshak Nov 18 '10 at 17:33

It's part of Google Places. If a business is listed with Google Places it can receive reviews which are then displayed in their local search results.

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yes this is possible only if you have one business to promote, in my case it is whole directory. – Nazariy Nov 17 '10 at 15:20
@Nazariy: add your own address in Google Places as your business adress for your directory. – Marco Demaio Nov 17 '10 at 19:17

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