Google+ Local

Over at the NAA blog there’s an informative piece on the new Google+ Local service that has replaced Google Places:

The most game-changing feature is the new Google ratings and reviews feature. For several months, users have been able to leave reviews of companies that would show up on the business’ Google Places page. After the revamp, these reviews are front-and-center. As soon as a potential customer puts your name into the search engine, they will be able to see what others have been saying. Google’s star ratings have also been replaced with a Zagat style scoring system. When a user writes a review, they are asked to rate the business on a scale of 0-30. Once enough reviews are compiled Google assigns a score from 0-30, 0 being very poor and 30 is approaching perfection. This number is in a prime location directly under your company name. Because of this, it is VITAL to keep track of your online reputation.  Several bad reviews will mar your image, and will influence prospects to take their business elsewhere. 

Thankfully, Google has also implemented a feature we have often requested, the ability to apply to reviews. Once a review is posted, the owner’s of your page can respond to the post. This gives management the opportunity to shine by offering to right any wrongs that may have been committed in the past.  The more reviews your receive, the easier it is for your page to appear higher on Google.

If your team hasn’t already looked into Google+ Local it should definitely do so quickly as it is likely to become an important part of your company’s/communities’ online reputation management.

One thought on “Google+ Local”

  1. So, when it says it allows a user to “apply” to a review, I assume it means “reply” to a review. My question is this, when a user “responds” to a negative post, does it affect the 0-30 “score”? I am not sure a potential customer would take the time to read user responses to negative reviews if the score was low to begin with. They would probably just move on. It is not truly the ability to “right a wrong” if it doesn’t influence the overall score, which is likely the first thing a potential customer will look at.

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