Last year, Google introduced Trusted Stores badges, which are given to e-commerce sites that have a good track record of on-time shipping and excellent customer service. The company is now testing the addition of these badges to qualifying advertisers’ search ads.

Trusted Stores was announced last October, which aims to help shoppers identify online merchants that offer ideal shopping experiences — it even offers consumers purchase protection.

“In our ongoing efforts to provide ads that are useful and relevant for users, we’re experimenting with different ways to communicate information about the quality of the shopping experience for a particular advertiser in the search ad itself,” explained a Google spokesperson.

In the AdWords test, a small medal-like badge appears to the left of the URL and the first line of text in the ad. When a customer hovers over the badge, a panel appears with information about your qualifications and rating. It appears that several implementations are being tested, and not all Trusted Stores are displaying the badge with AdWords ads.

Although few and far between, the Trusted Store badges aim to increase consumers’ confidence in online retailers. Customer satisfaction plays a big role in word-of-mouth marketing. If you currently operate an e-commerce site, it’s worth checking it out.

Google is currently testing the badges with a small set of advertisers. To be included in the program, you must apply and provide Google with a variety of data regarding your shipping and customer service history.

[Via: Search Engine Land, Image credit: Fosforix]