I’ve started noticing stars in my Google Results on reviewed places, products, etc.  They look like this:

Or for a place, they look like this:

It seems obvious that these would improve click-thru rates on a search result, so I went on a little search to find out how to include these on my sites.

Google allows these star ratings on review-type sites only.  I suspect you may be able to extend it to newspapers or blogs if you had people rating the articles, but I suspect Google must be using some type of system to avoid letting people put 5 star ratings on all of their content.

The process of adding this to your pages is surprisingly simple.  You just have to acquaint yourself with microdata and add a bit of code to each page.  An example looks like this for the pizza shop:

<div itemscope itemtype="http://data-vocabulary.org/Review-aggregate">
    <span itemprop="itemreviewed">L’Amourita Pizza</span>
    <span itemprop="rating" itemscope itemtype="http://data-vocabulary.org/Rating">
      <span itemprop="average">9</span>
      out of <span itemprop="best">10</span>
    </span>
    based on <span itemprop="votes">24</span> ratings.
    <span itemprop="count">5</span> user reviews.
  </div>

If you want to read more about Review Stars, check out this article by Google.  And if you end up trying this yourself then you are going to love the Rich Snippet Test Tool.

And if you are into this sorta thing, I’ve also noticed a coupon site doing something similar but adding a ‘Map This’ line to their results.  See here:

Rich Snippets may be the new wild-west of SEO.  They obviously improve click-thru rates on your result.  If I try some experiments soon, I’ll make sure to report back.