Google has been conducting a trial run to gauge the results of tying its 'Trusted Stores' badge to the search ads of certain merchants and qualified advertisers. Google launched Trusted Stores last year, as a way for assist customers in locating online merchants they can trust, and made use of the badge to help consumers quickly identify those stores that achieve high levels of customer satisfaction. The program also offers purchase protection, if something goes wrong during transaction.
A Google spokesperson had this to say about the trial run of applying the badge to AdWords - “As part of the Google Trusted Stores program, we’re currently conducting a test with a small set of advertisers to help users identify online merchants that offer a great shopping experience. 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.”
Below is a screen of the Trusted Stores Badge:
Online retailers who seek to become a part of the test program need to submit wide sales and transaction data to Google, and have a good track record regarding shipping, customer service and problem resolution. Google also points out that "badged" Trusted Stores sites do not outrank those without the badge in search.