Introduced in 2013, AdWords Review Extensions allowed advertisers to offer up snippets of third-party endorsements direct onto the search engine results page (SERP) below the PPC ad.
Whilst performance results varied for review extensions for often crowded SERPs, the Review offered an opportunity to call out on something relevant for the user regarding product/service that wouldn’t necessarily fit elsewhere in the AdWords format.
Due to this, review extensions generally saw higher levels of adoption in the finance and travel industries, where the all-important star ratings could effectively be communicated, freeing up more space for the main ad copy.
Even if performance uplift was limited, a quote from a well-known source such as the Telegraph, Guardian or Vogue etc. would offer some differentiation and credibility on the SERP.
The format for the extension was relatively open with 67 characters for a paraphrased or exact quote and the source. Notoriously difficult to get approved, Google opted for a part manual review process that would see the content scrutinised for relevancy, which often resulted in disapproval for a variety of reasons.
It’s likely that Google, whilst seeing limited performance impact globally for an extension with a resource intensive approval process, decided that the time and effort needed to maintain a quality user experience was just not worth it.
Early December 2017, existing Reviews that had been appearing for months suddenly went through a more stringent process that saw many culled. Quietly, days before Christmas, the AdWords Support page was updated noting that Reviews will stop showing in January 2018, with all reviews and the performance data they’ve accrued being deleted in February. Possibly a little new year UI clean up in anticipation of the new AdWords experience.
If you want to keep the data, you’ll need to download it in the next couple of weeks before it’s gone forever!