| 10/11/2019

Star Ratings in Google Search Results

Written by Ed Bennett

Google recently changed its rules regarding star ratings, restricting first-party sites.  

Announcement on the Google Webmaster Blog

How does this impact search results for physician profiles on hospital websites?
I researched search results for 20 hospital sites, ranging from small community hospitals to large systems.


  • 100% are on the first page of results
  • 95% are the #1 result
  • 70% show star ratings in the search results 

Bottom line - minimal impact on hospital sites.  If you're missing stars, check the new guidelines at Search Engine Journal and work with your developers to get it implemented.

Google employs humans to research your site and evaluate it for EAT,  YMYL and beneficial purpose .

  • E-A-T = Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness
  • YMYL = Your Money or Your Life (does the site provide advice on financial or medical topics)

Hospitals rank high on EAT, are 100% focused the "L" in YMYL and should rank high for beneficial purpose. That's probably why the majority of Hospital sites are still showing star ratings. (More info at Search Engine Journal)

See the chart below for all data (direct link to Google sheet)

  • Hospital
  • Link to sample physician profile Example
  • Number of ratings on that profile
  • Link to Google search for the sample doctor Example
  • Are stars displayed in the SERP? Yes/No
  • Page rank for the physician search result
  • Link to screenshot of the SERP Example

Note - the embedded chart may load slowly. 


Don't forget to share this post!