Many of our clients lately have expressed frustration about getting reviews for their business on Google+ Local. It’s hard enough to get customers to do it, but then when they do, many times they don’t get past Google’s review filters.
Google has become extremely picky about what reviews they publish in recent months in an attempt to crack down on fake reviews. This is completely understandable. If businesses all were to publish their own raving reviews, then consumers would no longer trust the validity of the review and therefore making online reviews meaningless. So it’s in everyone’s best interest to block out fake reviews. But unfortunately, many legitimate reviews go with it.
So what can we do?
First, keep trying. Don’t give up. Yes it’s harder now, but the rewards of having positive reviews is well worth it.
Second, spread the love.
Google+ Local is not the only place to get reviews. There are other directories that get a lot of traffic and allow for reviews. Google and other search engines also monitor many of these sites and a positive review on another site can mean better rankings on Google.
So in true internet marketing magic fashion, I bring you a short list of other sites you should be getting reviews from. Use it wisely!
- Yelp! (also has a strict review filter so you may have trouble getting reviews published here also)
- Angie’s List (difficult to get a review here also because users have to pay for membership, but the value of a positive review here is much higher than any other free review site)
- Yahoo! Local
- Insider Pages (listings on this directory often show up in search results so reviews here can make a difference)
- Kudzu (especially great for service based businesses)
- TripAdvisor (very important for hotels, restaurants, and entertainment, but not so much for other industries)
- Urban Spoon (must have for restaurants, not other industries)
My hope is that you will give your happy customers an avenue to express their satisfaction with your business, even when Google is making that difficult. Good luck!