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Google Place Pages Drop Third-Party Reviews

Should we expect Google+ integration?

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Google announced some changes to Place Pages as part of its new refocused efforts.

For one, they’ve added a “write a review” button at the top of the page, encouraging users to talk about your business. I hope your customer service is good.

“Some of the changes you’ll notice today have been made so you can quickly get a sense for what other people are saying about a place, more easily upload photos of places you’ve been (by using a more obvious ‘Upload a photo’ button), and see reviews in a single section on the page,” said Director of Product Management Avni Shah. “Since the introduction of Google Places’ local rating and review feature last fall — originally called Hotpot — we’ve heard loud and clear that reviews help you find the places that are right for you, especially when you’re able to get recommendations based on your tastes and those of your friends.”

In fact, Google is relying solely on its own set of user reviews now, and has removed reviews from other sources This should make Yelp happy. I wonder how their traffic will be affected.

Google Place Pages

“Rating and review counts reflect only those that’ve been written by fellow Google users, and as part of our continued commitment to helping you find what you want on the web, we’re continuing to provide links to other review sites so you can get a comprehensive view of locations across the globe,” said Shah.

Google says its long-term vision for local search include more personalized results, integrating information from Place pages into web search, and providing more ways to rate, discover, and share places faster and easier.

Separately, Google says it will open up brand profiles for Google+ in the coming months. They’re making a big deal about how they want businesses to have a different experience than what the regular profiles have to offer, and have been talking a great deal about integrating Google+ with other Google products. It would not be surprising to see Place Pages and business profiles on G+ integrated with one another. That could be quite powerful for businesses.

Google+ should certainly help with that goal of making results more personalized.

Google Place Pages Drop Third-Party Reviews
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  • Matt

    We spotted this yesterday http://www.screenpilot.com​/blog/2011/07/google-kills​-95-of-your-hotel-reviews-​what-does-it-mean-for-seo/​ but the impact we’ve seen for our clients so far is negligible. Our take is this isn’t just about review aggregation from 3rd party sources, but more to do with Google +1 gaining some serious momentum and introduction of +1 on paid and organic search (which they always had slated for to beat Bing/Facebook but never quite did). Interesting for those that study the local algorithmic changes from the ‘plex’. Add to that the self-reliant nature of the Google business model. Having said that, it does seem a wee bit early to make this switch.

  • http://www.hotwireins.com/ chaitanya

    I don’t like this change of Google not showing a reviews from yelp, insiderpages, etc. Rather I would like to say Google should display both types of reviews. One is from Google users and second is from local business directories.

    • http://www.SaltLakeCityOkay.com Adsense Publisher

      What you don’t understand is that Google was using content from Yelp to boost it’s Google Places presence within Google’s own search results. Yelp was complaining because while they liked the links, they felt it was unfair that Google should use Yelp’s user content and profit from it.

  • http://gorangrooves.com Goran

    Hmmm, interesting. I don’t see how showing reviews from Yelp is negatively impacting Yelp. The way I found out about Yelp was through the Google maps and I am sure many more people have done it the same way. Showing additional reviews benefits the business.
    Those other changes look quite nice though.

  • http://www.kentwebsitedesigner.co.uk J Arnold

    Of all Googles changes this one seems to make sense at least it relies more on the consumers view of a business rather than ‘keywords’ and coding etc to rank it.

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