Do Google Places Reviews Help Website Rankings?
Customer reviews can improve your search engine rankings
The introduction of merged Google search engine results listings in late 2010 have had a significant impact on rankings and traffic for Australian businesses. The effect over the last number of months has been both positive and negative, depending on competition and other factors.
Map listings for local search results became a part of organic Google search results in late 2010 and most website owners and SEO professionals tried to discover the extent to which Google Places would impact on rankings. The integrated map listings for local search results changed the playing field and since then, the popular opinion was that customer reviews on your Google Places page had a positive impact on rankings.
Of course, second-guessing Google is like trying to outwit a three-card trickster, just when you think you have it, the playing field suddenly changes and you’re left confused. Considering the search giant have 500 algorithmic changes in the pipeline for 2011, it’s hard to pin point exactly what does and doesn’t work but the popular belief amongst global SEOs is that proactive management of your Google Places listing has a positive impact on your ranking and traffic.
Google Places Reviews impact positively on rankings
The more customer reviews your Google Places page has, the better from a rankings point of view. Quality at this stage is not a major factor – however that may change so it’s important to examine to be proactive about the reviews on your Google Places page.
It may take effort to manage your map listing on a consistent basis, but like any other element of online marketing, the effort will pay off and the more comprehensive approach you take to online marketing, the greater platform you will have for sustaining success.
Secure consistent customer reviews on your Google Places page
It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that reviews might be subjected to unscrupulous behaviour from competitors so it would be no surprise to see Google safeguard against such dirty tricks in the future. In the meantime, be proactive about reviews on Google Places. Encourage (and maybe even reward) customers for reviewing your business on Google Places – positive reviews are an important tool for spreading awareness of your brand and can ensure that any negative efforts from competitors would be a drop in the ocean in comparison to the positive reviews.
Securing regular customer feedback on your Google Places reviews is easier said than done. Customers may have the best of intentions but finding the time to log in to Google to leave a review isn’t easy at the best of times.
For business to business (B2B) transactions, perhaps it would be favourable for partnering businesses to do reciprocal reviews – reviews with your suppliers and your customers would provide a solid base of quality reviews which can contribute to better rankings.
With business to consumer industries there may be a need to entice customers with special offers, future discounts or prize draws in order to secure reviews. Having customers leave reviews regularly is a great way to continually increase the strength of your Google Places page and is an excellent means of getting consistent, positive publicity about your business.
Let roi.com.au manage your Google Places listing
If you want to get a better return from your online presence, call roi.com.au today on 1300 650 274. We offer comprehensive search marketing services including Google Places Optimisation, Social Media Optimisation, SEO and Google AdWords management. Our extensive online experience has helped over 1000 Australian business to enjoy online success, call us today and see how we put your business first!
***Please Note that Google Places is a Free Google Product, and the you are under no obligation to have our helpful team setup your account with Google Places.