A few weeks ago it was announced that Google would be removing 3rd party reviews that are aggregated into the Google maps. Such suggested review sites include Yelp, Insider Pages, City search etc. Google’s thought process seemed to be that these review sites were essentially competition.
Many of our clients have done an awesome job, after some EWS coaching, in getting reviews and this came as an unexpected and very detrimental hit to them.
Although reviews don’t help your ranking on Google maps, they do help draw attention to your website once it is on the maps. Even if you are “C” on the map if you have a ton more reviews than your competitor it has a proven bottom line benefit (based on EWS findings).
This is one of Google’s many changes recently to their maps. You may remember many months ago that they moved the actual “drop pins” to the right of the page rather than in the middle.
In addition, Google also decided to aggregate sites that had a strong SEO presence (albeit only making a difference if its a competitive search term not like beads Portland Or) This change was done several months ago as well. You may remember previously that it wouldn’t be unusual for a company even without a website to show up on the maps, even for a competitive search term. This did not serve Google’s potential customers well, and contribute to their claim to fame of serving up the most relevant websites for consumers searching for information. Obviously if there is no website, there is no information for the consumer to make an educated and informed decision.
You can still find, on a rare occasion, a map listing with no website attached however it is extremely rare these days.
This latest change, with the reviews however, was self serving for Google and severely reduced the number reviews for some of our clients. Amongst one of the first I noticed to go was Superpages (also known as Idearc). One of our clients had almost 23 reviews disappear overnite!
This definitely meant a change in strategy for the client.
Once again Google rules the internet with an iron fist….and all of us must play by their rules.
Effective Web Solutions
EWS specializes in Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing, as well as building quality custom websites. EWS also partners and coaches their clients on best practices on improving their overall internet marketing