• http://www.tim-holmes.com/ TimHolmesDesign

    Where is the best placement for reviews? Google Local pages or independent sites that have a Google partner status? Everyone wants to have good ratings, but finding the most suitable location to gather them is a little tricky. Independent from Google often seems more credible, plus from what I have seen the user does not need a gmail account to leave a review.

  • http://www.erikeric.com/ erikeric

    Good info. I’d say it’s jumping the gun to say that “Google is devaluing links in favour of other signals (e.g., social)” given recent disclosures on their part that they don’t even use social signals as ranking factors (Cutts) and links are still an essential part of the algorithm (Cutts, Singhal). Sure buying poor-quality links is bad, but non-social links are still very much part of the game.

  • Bright_Local

    Hi Erik – thanks for the comment. Google is always broadening the range of factors which influence rankings. In the good ol’ days links were just one of a handful of factors but now there are a vast range. So i would say that links have been been certainly diluted as a factor; and i do also believe that the assault on bad links shows decreasing trust in links by Google and so devaluated status in the algo.

  • http://thereviewsolution.com/blog/aaron-kocourek/ Aaron Kocourek

    You do need to have a Google account in order to leave a review on a business. Google and Yelp are generally the most important sites to get consumers to leave reviews on, but it really depends on the vertical you are in.

  • kamaldws

    what about yellow pages? I think, it is also important sites. And I want to know, Does classified better than citation?

  • Elliot Suiter

    Think Google partners are best for reviews. Trust pilot and feefo etc.

  • http://totallocalonlinemarketing.com Dawson Barber

    Great insights, Miles.

    I found it especially interesting that 85% shoot for 1 to 5 reviews per month.

    Out of curiosity, was there any discussion around review velocity?

    I know many businesses that do a lot of transactions every month and have some concerns about “too much too soon.”

    And any thoughts on business’s using reviews on their own websites?

    While getting reviews on review sites is important, I think most businesses overlook the importance of publishing reviews on their own websites (for building trust and improving conversions).

    So we always encourage businesses to set up a page on their website for collecting customer reviews.

    Customers are directed to that page (in many different ways to cover as many bases as we can) to leave feedback.

    After customers complete the review on the business’s website, they’re taken to a thank you page where they’re encouraged to share their feelings on whatever review site is important to that business.

    The thank you page includes a direct link to the business’s review site page.

    After they leave the review and close the review page (which opened in a new window), they find a new message has been added to the thank you page: a request to Like their business on Facebook (with the business’ Facebook Like box to show some social proof).

    This, of course, turns their review into an opportunity for some exposure on Facebook.

    We think that sending people to a page on their website for reviews helps in four important ways:

    – Credibility for their business on their website
    – “Ownership” of customer reviews (any content published on any website you don’t own is, of course, always at risk)
    – Independence – if a business decides that they no longer want to support a particular review site, they simply change names/links on one page on their website (this is especially helpful if they send out direct mail pieces – like post cards – asking for reviews)
    – Opportunity for building their list (by having an optin form on the review page)

    The downside of this approach is that there are people who will not take the second step.

    Nevertheless, the benefits seem to outweigh downside.