Last week I posted on the launch of Google+ Local Reviews, which has replaced what was previously known as Google Places for Businesses. Google has released videos for both businesses and users on how Google+ Local Reviews allows for a more social and credible experience for everyone:
Google+ Local For Users: Reviewing Your Favourite Places
Google+ Local For Users: See Reviews From Your Friends
The move which pushes review credibility towards Google+ Authorship should encourage savvy businesses to take Google+ platform as a serious tool for their online marketing strategy.
What does this mean for search?
Over the weekend, I looked at a few more ways Google+ Local Reviews has played out in the search results:
1. Scoring System
Google+ Local uses the Zagat 30 point scoring system which replaces the previous 5 star system. The users reviews will now be based upon a 0-to-3 point scale:
- 0 = Poor to Fair
- 1 = Good
- 2 = Very Good
- 3 = Excellent
Some local entries, such as restaurants, are scored with multiple factors (e.g. food, decor and service). However they are scored with the primary factor only (i.e. food) if there are insufficient reviews to calculate an average result.
These results, along with Google+ Authorship will be a better indicator of the strength and credibility of user reviews.
2. Google+ Local Pages will be INDEXED!
Unlike Google Places Pages for Businesses, Google+ Local Pages will be indexed! Whether or not your page has been claimed, or even whether you have a website. This will help boost the profile of local businesses, so it’s now more than ever a great time to claim your Google+ Local Page and have it optimised to let local searchers (particularly those on mobile) to find you.
3. Push to Make Search Social
As shown in the videos above, Google+ users will be able to perform searches for local businesses without even leaving the social network.
These three reasons should have compelled you by now to stop reading and signing up to create your businesses Google+ Page – or to claim your listing if you haven’t done so already.
Not sure if you’re listing is claimed? Simply do a Google search for your business name and location, look for a maps listing and click on reviews. When the Google+ Local page loads, underneath the map you should see an area that asks if the listing belongs to you:
Then follow the instructions after you’ve clicked on ‘Manage this Page’.
If you already have a claimed Google+ Local listing, have you noticed anything extra that we haven’t covered? Let us know in the comments below!