Google Places lets go of third party reviews for its businesses.
Today, Google Places pages will only show reviews from fellow Google users. It emphasizes reviews with the addition of a big “Write a review” button in red on top of the page. Third party websites such as Yelp, TripAdviser, and CitySearch.com should see this as a welcome change since their reviews won’t be used by Google Places anymore.
Many people are wondering why Google made this sudden change. This may have something to do with the antitrust scrutiny Google is dealing with recently. In a blog post written by Google Places product manager Avni Shah, he said
“Based on careful thought about the future direction of Place pages, and feedback we’ve heard over the past few months, review snippets from other web sources have now been removed from 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.”
Thanks to the incorporation of Hotpot, Google now has enough reviews from Google users to stand on its own feet. Reviews from other websites will now be shown as a link with their respective numbers of reviews.
Generally, reviews should have an effect to your search engine rankings. Businesses should try to encourage their customers to write a review about their business while being monitored by an SEO reseller like SEOReseller.com. SEOReseller.com has various SEO reseller packages with various services like Google Places. Check www.seoreseller.com to learn more about its newest features and services.