The rise in the importance of online reviews. Google includes “reviews from the web” as part of its local search results. See how it affects your business online.
Reviews from the web, now part of Local Search Results.
Hi there I’m Luc DURAND. Welcome to ranking academy’s latest local marketing news.
You may remember that in august 2015 google introduced a new knowledge graph feature called “critic Reviews” for movies, TV shows and books.
For those of you who are not familiar with the term “knowledge graph”, the knowledge graph is the box on the right hand side of google search results that displays information about people, places and things in general. The information is gathered by google from a number of sources such as Wikipedia.
At the beginning of august this year Google made the “critic reviews” feature available for local businesses such as bars and restaurants.
You can now find snippets of reputable food critic reviews such as the Michelin Guide displayed in the Knowledge Graph panel of certain local businesses.
Searching for the fine dining restaurant “eleven Madison park” in New York for example returns 4 critic reviews within the knowledge graph including some from the new York times and Time out.
The critic review feature only displays content from agreed google partners as they must be written by critics from publishers as opposed to a wide customer base.
Sadly despite the quality and the volume of their review content on local businesses, major sites such as trip advisor and Facebook are not included as part of the “critic reviews” feature.
Google got heavily criticised for not including the review giants as part of the critic reviews feature. But on the 09th of September this year Google launched yet another feature called “Reviews from the web” to local search results.
This new feature now includes user generated content from third party sites as part of the knowledge panel. Yelp, tripadvisor, facebook now have the chance to display their content which, according to google, will help users with their local searches.
This new feature doesn’t seem to be exclusive to restaurants and bars but to many different types of local businesses. It is displayed right below the opening hours of a given business and above the critic reviews feature making it very prominent on mobile phones which is where most local searches are conducted.
This seems to be, yet again, another move from google to respond to an ever increasing local search demand and to stay ahead in the local search market.
My advice for any small business out there. Continue delivering the best possible customer service. Reviews may be coming from many sources which will be displayed in your business knowledge panel in Google. The last thing you want is for potential customers to associate your business with poor ratings.