Update on Google+ Local Reviews

by Paula Lay on June 5, 2012

in Local Search

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
Scores are then averaged and multiplied by 10 to give you an average score out of 30.

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!

 

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  • http://www.cheechunfoo.com Chee Chun Foo

    About the point on the number of reviews per Google Places, I would like to clarify that you don’t necessarily needs 10+ reviews to be on page 1.

    It is based not just on the quantity but also the quality of reviews, amongst other local search factors. Case in point: search for “melbourne hotels”.

    Just focus on completing your profile and making it as relevant as possible to your targeted key landing page!

    Secret keyword to take away: “citations”

    • http://www.ewebmarketing.com.au/ Paula Lay

      Hi Chee Chun,

      No, you do not need 10+ reviews to be on page 1, but you DO need 10+ reviews for your Zagat score to show on the SERPs as shown in my graphic ;)

      Have you noticed scores showing on Google Map pages with less than 10 reviews?

      Paula

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