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What's the impact of third-party reviews on SEO for non-local e-commerce websites?

We already use our own rating system. It's a non-biased and honest system. We display the ratings on our pages and in our schema.org.

In order to add E-A-T, we're wondering if we should turn to a third-party review system, like Trustpilot.

I found a zillion blog posts saying that third-party reviews were very important. All the posts use the same arguments:

  • ratings are important for users, so of course they're important for SEO (but no one actually measured it)
  • ratings allow to put stars in your schema.org, increasing your CTR (but we already have our own stars in schema.org, and they display well in the SERP)
  • ratings are important for local businesses (but we're not a local business)

I haven't found any serious study on the matter.

Third-party reviews cost money and are difficult to maintain, so I need to be careful before changing our current proprietary rating system. Does someone have some experience to share?

  • If you have your own system for ratings, then it is good to go ~ as it is displayed on SERP. (Although, your users won't trust your own rating system as they will feel it is biased). On the other hand, third party ratings are important - as it gives a neutral, unbiased opinion. However, as you rightly said it is difficult to manage. Third party ratings will help you in indirect seo - as such someone will search for "your company name + reviews" in Google, then that third party website will show up. If you have good ratings, then it certainly help you to get new visitors. – Bhargav Joshi Nov 21 '18 at 1:57
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Generally rating system wont give you any boost on SEO, what they will do is increase your CTR especially if you earn rich snippets (displaying stars in Google results)

Since you have your own rating system and is already displayed on SERP i wouldn't touch that. Now having 3rd party reviews is important for users depending on you'r products, it shows more trust, sites use to manipulate reviews thats why 3rd party reviews matter.

Ratings are not important only for local business, if you're selling a product or a service people would definitely like to see other users feedback on the service/product.

What you could do is:

  1. Keep your rating system
  2. Have a 3rd party review

(2) It would be beneficial for your site to have 3rd party reviews not only for the users but for your site as well, users will search for "brandname reviews" usually on the first positions are the major players as trustpilot, you dont have to invest too much time to maintain them if your product is what users are looking for you will get positive reviews that would be enought.

Here is a realted topic from searchenginejournal and rankpay

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