For the discerning online marketer, any change in Google’s search engine should be taken seriously. But what about the change in the colour of your stars in search results?

It’s no secret that Google has been meddling with rich snippets and the quality score of reviews for the last few years. The impact of reviews on search results is still a factor in determining ranking performance. Google is however updating the colour of the stars that appear under listings with reviews. The SEO community is alive with discussion about the what, why and reason behind this change, moving away from the familiar gold star.

Whilst most UK companies will now see green stars in search, we have in fact seen a whole range of colours being shown. Red stars, blue stars and grey stars have been sighted amidst the familiar gold star – but what does all of this mean for us

What Is The Impact Of Star Colours For Companies

Google is yet to formally release a statement about why and what the change in colours means. The most popular theory is that Google has been testing the response from users based upon the psychological factors of colours.

Some forums have suggested that colour blind users may have been negatively affected by the traditional Gold star however some pessimists feel that Google could be using colours to negatively influence sites with poor off-page reviews. Whilst this is unlikely, the grey star has been seen on sites that carry a number of negative off-page reviews, whilst holding a high Google Plus review ranking.

What the Colour Geeks Say

Other theories conclude that Google is in fact trying to help improve the conversion to sites by changing the colour of its stars. This theory, which we support, takes into account the psychological impact of colours on the user:

  • Green – reassurance, harmony and equilibrium
  • Gold – confidence, authority, engaging
  • Red – Strength, dark and stimulation
  • Blue – Intelligence, trust, calm

Summary of UK Star Results

In, the widest used colour appears to be green. This colour is both masculine and feminine and (according to the colour geeks) conveys a sense of reassurance above and beyond the Gold star.

The jury’s out on the long-term impact of the colour changes but let’s await news from Google before jumping to conclusions.