25 July 2011 by Web Bureau
Reviews can be an important marketing tool when it comes to winning new customers, and online these customer reviews can also have a big impact upon how your business ranks in the Google Places local search results.
Google Place pages are set to experience considerable changes as Google has announced a new layout and indicated that such changes are set to continue. The new Place Pages have a heavy emphasis on reviews and in particular, reviews from Google users. This is an important part of your Search Engine Marketing Strategy, so take note!
Google said, “We’ve heard loud and clear that reviews help you find the places that are right for you, especially when you are able to get recommendations based on your tastes and those of your friends. So, we’ve added the call-to-action button “Write a review,” to the top of the Place page , to encourage you to tell us what you think about places you’ve visited, while at the same time ensuring that you get personalised recommendations in return when you’re signed in to your Google account.
Based on careful thought about the future direction of Place pages, and feedback we’ve heard over the past few months, review snippets from other web sources have now been removed from Place pages. Rating and review counts reflect only those that have been written by fellow Google users, and as part of our continued commitment to helping you find what you want on the web, we’re continuing to provide links to other review sites so you can get a comprehensive view of locations across the globe.”
Google’s actions may be in part an attempt to appease third party sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp, who claimed that Google unfairly used their content to make their Places pages results more useful, without compensation or traffic.
Within Google Plus, some of the biggest company and brand accounts have recently been removed including the Google Plus pages for leading search blogs Mashable and Search Engine Land, as well as car manufacturer, Ford. All accounts removed have been replaced with a 404 error message.
Google promises more changes, including increased personalisation of local search results and additional upgrades to the Places experience on other Google platforms and across different devices.
Chat to us today to learn more about the changes to Google Places.