Staying Up to Date: Major Changes for Reviews and Google
One of the biggest issues on the forefront today is how Facebook Places is going to change the way that consumers are able to review products and services. This new development completely transforms the way that consumers communicate their feelings about a business to one another.
Seb Provencher (@sebprovencher):
With the FB Places launch, we can officially say it: merchant/place reviews are dead. Status updates are the new merchant reviews.
Why is Facebook Places such a major player in the game? Well, it’s a much larger platform than the traditional word of mouth review or reviews on a store website because Facebook reaches millions. Facebook Places isn’t simply focused on “check-ins” because it gives users the opportunity to say something about the place as well. If you post a review on FBP and a friend comments on it, then it is also shown to their friends, and so on. On top of that, Facebook has built in default review tabs on Places pages, so people checking out the place can see what others had to say about it. This is big news for an Internet Marketing Agency.
Ratings are important for a quick look by the consumer who doesn’t want to read through all the garbage.
YELP Tells Businesses – Don’t Request Reviews
In a recent post on YELP from Luther Lowe, Local Business Outreach, tells businesses not to ask their customers for reviews. What do we think? Hmm…to be nice, we think it’s ridiculous. Why is YELP taking this stance?
If you’ve hired an SEO Firm, pay attention. Since many business owners only solicit reviews from satisfied customers, the belief is that potential customers may not trust those reviews. Of course, we all know that you can’t please everyone all the time, so when a business only shows stellar reviews, it might make customers question the business. Now, this YELP post also states that, because these reviews were solicited, they could be filtered.
We all know that no business is perfect, but if a customer calls, writes, or emails you to say something nice about your company, it’s a review – and an honest one. There’s certainly no harm being done by asking that customer if they would mind digitizing their comment, and YELP can’t do anything about it.
Of course, if the customer is not happy, it would be a bit outlandish to ask them to post something positive about your company on Yelp, wouldn’t it? Bottom line? Use common sense.
SMBS Implications for Google’s Integrated Local Search
Testing is apparently ongoing and has been showing up in New York City and Philadelphia. These new results are only appearing on Safari for Mac right now, but it shouldn’t take long for IE, Firefox, or Chrome to start returning the same. Keep your eyes peeled for updates.