In a surprising move last week Google removed reviews from popular sharing sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor from its Google Places pages, leaving only reviews written by Google users. Links to the most common review sites are still in place below the Google-sourced reviews, but the controversial scraped excerpts are gone.
Now that Google is promoting only its users’ reviews, a shiny new red call to action button has been added to encourage people to add their two cents. The area asking users to “Upload a Photo” is also considerably more prominent.
What this means for businesses who rely on Google Places for traffic, exposure and visitors is that the number of reviews associated with their page may have just plummeted. Restaurants, home improvement stores, and other local businesses have come to rely heavily on their Places pages for local visitors, and these changes may dramatically impact their rankings in Google’s local results.
But keep in mind that third party review sites can’t be neglected, because they’ll still feature prominently in Google’s search results and can still drive significant amounts of traffic to local business websites independent of Google Places.
If you’re concerned about the ramifications of this most recent Google Places update, our local search marketing specialists at Fruition would be happy to chat with you.
Here’s a look at the new Places layout:
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President, Frame Destination
President & Founder, Family Travel Association