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by Jerry Jindal Jr of Nebraska Mobile Cloud Providers and Specialists Corp La Mesa NE.
Recently over the last 6 months, there has been no shortage of changes with local search marketing. One of
those majors shifts is Google Places Reviews.
It is clear
that “reviews” is becoming increasingly more important to Google Places and Google Maps. As these updates
and changes to the local ranking algorithms have been beneficial for some, others it has upset those who have spent time marketing
to how Google Places used to display “reviews”.
I was Terry Ulay'’s Blog today and there was commenter
am pissed off that they put the third party reviews first. They are displaying content from some sites that is old and outdated.
One of my clients has amazing Google reviews which are now hidden below bad reviews from yelp from over 3 years ago when they
were under different ownership. I am really confused why Google would make this placement decision…”
Varied Reviews is
what it's all about nowadays....
This is why it’s essential to help clients to get their customers to post reviews everywhere not just Google
Places. It’s a constant war, I know. Education & ethical bribes help.
There is a bit of an interesting conversation on Google Places forum here about how Google decides on what 3rd party reviews
sites to pull data from.
However, the easiest way to
discover what 3rd party sites to focus on are by looking at your competitors places pages and see what review data is showing
up. If not much with your competition then thank your lucky stars and then look in other cities with the same category
to get some ideas or move into other categories if really lost. Pick 2 or 3 and educate your customers and bribe them
with coupons/gift cards (whatever) to take a couple minutes to write something (hopefully positive) about your business.
How Can We Better Rate Reviews
on Google Places?
would solve this commenter (above) review challenge, is if Google didn’t segment out the 3rd party reviews from
the Google User reviews, but instead just listed reviews as found by date (isn’t that what they used to do…?
I can’t remember now… so many bloody changes lately .
I think it’d be really nice if they added in what they do on YouTube where you can
rate comments up or down and then they list the top two rated comments on top as a feature before all other comments.
It’s be easy for them to do this with the reviews too. It’d be a nice community edit to weed out some of
the review spam too.
Policing of Reviews – Is It Possible?
Now it’s obvious “reviews” is a major ranking factor for Google Places.
Just look at the obvious of how many references there are to “reviews” on a Google Places
page. What I am wondering is what will be the next stage of this “review algorithm”?
I wonder how much Hotpot will
influence the rankings now that giving ratings and reviews is a little easier for consumers…?
Reviews are important and not going anywhere, however we need to come up
with ways to improve upon rating reviews/reviewers to keep things as honest as possible. Does anyone feel me here…?
I know places pages has that have that “was this review helpful?” thingy, but I think I still like the
way YouTube does it with a thumbs up or down.
Will There Be Power Reviewers and With They Get More Trust?
There seems to be some chatter about Google offering
better rankings to listings with better reviews….? Will quality be a factor now when it comes to reviews?
SEObytheSea thinks Google is giving reviewers reputatiomn score.
Has anyone seen any evidence power reviewers giving more weight in local rankings
yet? If so, couldn’t people just spam their competition with a ton of poor reviews to gain better rankings…?
Not sure about this one.
has any insight on this please add your experience or evidence to the comments below.
And does anyone think they’ll start to factor in any “trust
rank” into reviewers. I think Yelp does this a little, where there are power reviewers and they
get more authority over one off reviewers – hence their “trusted reviews” and “not trusted reviews”
Someone had mentioned someone where they thought that
the new hotpot ratings held more weight when something was written versus just giving a star ranking – any evidence
of this too anywhere…?
I do miss that they don’t list who wrote the review anymore with the place’s reviewers (unless that person
has a Google Profile), it doesn’t hold review spammers responsible anymore.
All in all, it’s obvious “reviews” have
are a major ranking factor in Places pages and if you want to have strong first page rankings for your local keywords it’s
essential you have a very aggressive review strategy in place. Just be sure you are using “white hat” methods
to secure your reviews because it’s so obvious when you do not.
been using “reviews” as a killer ranking strategy for quite some time now at SBOC.
I discovered with some testing we did over a year ago
that we could get decent rankings quickly for clients with just “reviews” in the Google
Brand new businesses, with no history,
and no citations and only reviews were snagging top rankings straight away. Now I am not recommending this is
all you do when marketing with Places Pages (especially now we have the O-Pack listings showing most of the time), be
sure to secure loads of “citations” and “my map”
references as possible too.
Those businesses that embrace reviews
NOW and HUSSLE with it will do very well, because you can’t catch up with review volume over night. If you
get far enough ahead of your competition then, it makes it very difficult for them to catch up. You can only realistically
get so many reviews every month without getting called out as a review spammer.
No one notices links and it’s not policed socially, reviews are