Google has made it easier for people to review businesses using their mobile devices. A tweak to Google’s functionality in mobile browsers has made the process simpler, and that could lead to more reviews for businesses.
We’ve seen Yelp become increasingly mobile as mobile unique visitors grew 29% year-over-year while desktop visitors declined. This was two years after the company finally added review functionality to its mobile apps. There’s no reason to think that more reviews won’t start coming from mobile devices for Google listings as well.
Mike Blumenthal, who keeps a close eye on Google’s local business search efforts, explains how Google has made things easier (h/t: Search Engine Roundtable):
Leaving a review for a business on Google via a mobile has long been a pain. However starting in early May on Android 5 and gradually working its way across Google’s & Apple’s mobile browsers, users can once again leave a review for a business using almost any mobile browser. This includes Safari and Chrome for iPhone as well as the mobile browsers for Android 4 and 5.
Since 2012 when the mobile web version of G+ had its review link removed, the only way to leave a review was to use the Google Map App or to do an ugly work around using G+ local search. With the advent of this search display update users can once again leave mobile reviews across both major platforms and browsers by simply searching for the business, selecting the more info button in the Knowledge panel, scrolling down to the rate and review area and selecting a star rating. Thus one of the easiest ways to get a customer to leave you a review is to just ask them to search for you on Google and either click the “write a review” link on the desktop or select the more info button on mobile.
This comes as Google is under tight regulatory scrutiny for allegedly favoring its own content in search results. A recent study commissioned by Yelp slammed Google for doing just that, claiming that the search engine is “reducing social welfare” with “lower quality results”.
If Google is going to make it easier for people to use mobile reviews, that’s more content competing with the likes of Yelp. It also opens the doors for more potential reviews of varying quality.
Image via YouTube