The Top 5 Factors for a Review to be marked Most Relevant


Mar 8, 2019
In displaying the list of reviews, Google doesn't show the reviews in chronological order by default.

Instead, reviews are shown by what Google refers to as "Most Relevant".

What criteria is used by Google to decide if a review is more relevant?

In order to find out, we did a quick study of 500 Google reviews in the nursing home and rehabilitation category. Here are what seem to be the top 5 factors in what makes a review more relevant.

  1. Length - The number of words in a review had a clear impact on how relevant it was considered. There was a consistent correlation between the number of words contained in a review with its position in the Most Relevant rankings.
  2. Keywords - Using the name of the business in the review led to an increase in the post's relevancy ranking.
  3. Specific - A review that contained a specific story or example was more likely to rank higher than reviews with generic content.
  4. Local - A review by a user who posted other reviews in the local area is deemed more relevant than a user with either no reviews or one with reviews from a different geographic location.
  5. Time - The more time that passes since a review is posted, the less relevant it becomes.
Here are factors that did not seem to have much of an impact on their relevancy:
  1. Votes/Likes - Unless a review gets 10-20 votes/shares on the post, it won't help much to get a few. (Unless a review is viral-worthy, it won't get many votes or shares anyways)
  2. Response from owner - Having a response from the owner did not substantially affect the post's ranking in the Most Relevant list.
  3. Negative - Unlike what many business owners might think, Google does not rank negative reviews higher than positive ones. In all our tests, positive reviews meeting the criteria outlined above are just as likely to be considered relevant as their negative review counterparts.
These were our findings in a study of over 500 reviews in this category. What other factors do you think might contribute to making a review be considered "Most Relevant"?

Yan Gilbert

Oct 15, 2016
Could #1 & #3 be overlapping/related.. meaning story type reviews might be generally longer in content

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