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I'm used to seeing the knowledge panel like this one for Trinity Lutheran Church, which shows the average Google rating towards the top of the knowledge panel - 2021-02-09_17-18-48

However, I noticed Generations Community Church knowledge panel does not show the average Google rating at the top - 2021-02-09_17-16-23

I also noticed the average Google rating doesn't seem to be in the knowledge panel for any schools. Instead a little further down they're showing the average rating on GreatSchools and Niche.

I'm wondering if anyone knows why this is. I can understand Google varying the layout of the knowledge panel for different verticals but it's odd to me that there would be variations within the same vertical, like churches.

Thanks for any insight you might have on this!
 

Phil Rozek

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@PaulSteinbrueck, it's been that way for schools for a long time. Probably 3-4 years. I'm surprised about the church phenomenon, though. I see average Google-review ratings in the sidebar when I look at other churches in the "Christian Church" GMB category. So my guess is that Generations Community Church may have "Religious school" or a similar GMB category as an additional, non-primary category.

Not sure if you have access to that GMB page and can confirm that. (It appears "Preschool" may be one of the additional categories.
 
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Thanks Phil! I don't have access to Generations' GMB listing, but I know they have a school that meets there. So, that likely is the reason their average Google rating isn't shown on the knowledge panel. Thanks for the insight!
 
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Follow-up question... Any idea if Google gives less weight to reviews in in their search ranking algorithm for verticals like schools that don't show the average Google rating in the knowledge panel?
 

Phil Rozek

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Hey @PaulSteinbrueck, that's a good question. Wish I knew the answer. I do some work in the school space, and haven't seen any indication that Google puts more or less weight behind reviews. The schools I've worked on that do better tend to have a bigger pile of good Google reviews (after putting in some work), but of course reviews are just one factor of many.
 

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@PaulSteinbrueck, it is interesting to track this over time. I did a few testings today for several prominent schools in the Twin Cities metro and find carried results. I wonder if a school needs to meet a certain threshold as to the number of Google ratings they have.

lakeville-mn-North-high-school-Google-Search.png
 

TroMaClo

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@PaulSteinbrueck, it's been that way for schools for a long time. Probably 3-4 years. I'm surprised about the church phenomenon, though. I see average Google-review ratings in the sidebar when I look at other churches in the "Christian Church" GMB category. So my guess is that Generations Community Church may have "Religious school" or a similar GMB category as an additional, non-primary category.

Not sure if you have access to that GMB page and can confirm that. (It appears "Preschool" may be one of the additional categories.
Hi Phil,
Do you have any insight why one school would have their ratings shown in the Knowledge panel but a competing school a block away wouldn't? This is the issue I am facing. I have a dance school with more reviews than any of my competitors and a 5 star rating, yet my rating doesn't show in the Knowledge panel while my competitors do. Each one is categorized as a "Dance School in Toronto", so I am confused and frustrated why my school is being singled out by Googles algorithms.

Thank you for your help.
Corey
 

Phil Rozek

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Hey Corey,

I can't say for sure, but my first guess is that secondary categories are the difference-maker here. Dance schools near me consistently have the reviews showing up in the KP, so it appears Google doesn't throw that category into the same hamper other schools are in.

Is that the only category you have specified in GMB?

Also, I assume your reviews are significantly newer than your competitors'. (If they were very fresh, it may be just a matter of time before your average rating shows up.)
 

TroMaClo

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Hey Corey,

I can't say for sure, but my first guess is that secondary categories are the difference-maker here. Dance schools near me consistently have the reviews showing up in the KP, so it appears Google doesn't throw that category into the same hamper other schools are in.

Is that the only category you have specified in GMB?

Also, I assume your reviews are significantly newer than your competitors'. (If they were very fresh, it may be just a matter of time before your average rating shows up.)
Thanks so much Phil,

Checking my secondary categories, I had Music School, and PreSchool listed so I removed the Preschool category (my preschool is a separate business now anyway). My reviews are anywhere from 6 months old to 6 years old.

As I was writing this, I had the idea to check if music schools were treated the same way as dance schools and it seems they are not. None of the music schools I searched for showed a star rating in their search results, while all of them showed a star rating in Maps. This is a conundrum...I am tempted to remove the music school category as "music school" is in the name of my business and all over my website.
 
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