Not Just Reviews … Now They’re “Google Reviews”

Filed in Featured, Google, Local Search by Matt McGee on August 26, 2011 8 Comments

If you had any doubt that Google is firmly in the local reviews business and has every intention of owning that space, consider this small change to the local/Places search results. They’re not just “reviews” anymore … now they’re “Google reviews.”

google-reviews

Google is obviously banking on the trust that its name has earned over the years. “Google reviews” must be more trustworthy and valuable to Joe Consumer than just any local reviews. It obviously fits in to the larger Place Page changes from last month, which really minimized the visibility of third-party reviews on Place Pages.

Mind you … this little change may have already been spotted and blogged about by one of my fellow local search friends, but tonight’s the first time I’ve seen that change in the wording.

Has it been there for a while now??

Comments (8)

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  1. Jim Rudnick says:

    @Matt…yup, see exactly the same “googlization” of the same type of reviews up here in Canuckland at google.ca too!

    Noticed it first last Tuesday up here…thought it might have just been a testing item…but now that you see same in the US, I’d think it’s here for good, eh!
    :-)

    Jim

  2. Dave says:

    I’ve seen it for 2-3 days in the UK.

    “Google reviews” seem to mainly be just ratings though, not a lot of text and when there is it’s very poor quality. Must be want users want though, or Google wouldn’t be ranking it so well over decent, established, independent sites ;-)

  3. Linda Buquet says:

    Yes, I believe it just changed a week ago Thursday the 18th. That’s the 1st time I noticed it.

    Also related to reviews:

    I reported a couple days ago that Yelp reviews are no longer listed. Does not show up as a review link at all, so don’t even know if it’s counted in the algo. Trip Advisor and others that G tends to have review disagreements with still show, but Yelp is MIA.

    Also one of my user’s reported that the nice Gold stars that used to show up in the SERPS for Yelp and others were removed. Not sure if it was a bug or by design. But he just reported they are back again so that’s good news. I just started seeing them again a couple days ago too.

  4. Nyagoslav says:

    Yep, the change was rolled on 18th worldwide, together with darkening the color of the descriptive terms on the Place pages themselves. I think it’s just a matter of time to see the descriptive terms on the organic SERPs themselves (they are already on the Maps and Places search, as well as in the listings).

    These modifications appeared exactly after Google started showing the “expanded” sitelinks for Places too.

  5. Another note worth mentioning is that “B” does not have a star rating next to their reviews. Google waits until a business gets a minimum of 5 reviews before showing an average star rating. This becomes important if you are the only one not showing a star rating in this case or if you are the only one WITH a star rating under less competitive key words.

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