Not sure if I am seeing a test or if this is rolling out everywhere but now when I click on the “[#] Google reviews” link for a business from the SERPs, I am seeing a lightbox type of pop up display instead of being sent to the Google Plus Page for the business. Check it out:
Some initial observations:
- The default view is a list of the 10 most recent reviews with a “more reviews” link at the bottom that creates a kind of infinite scroll effect
- There’s a review sort and a prominent “write a review” button. Pro Tip: Google wants you to write a review.
- There is no link to a map or driving directions which seems kind of wrong but implies that Google is thinking when you want reviews, we give you reviews and when you want a map, you go back to the SERP to get the map. In a way it’s a simpler construct than the kitchen sink approach they use now
- THE SERP IS NOW TOTALLY SEPARATE FROM THE BUSINESS’ GOOGLE+ PAGE. https://plus.google.com/116091785697157979199/about?gl=US&hl=en-US still exists, but it only appears to be accessible via the Google+ UI and as a normal result in the SERPs.
Not sure what this means in the scheme of things other than perhaps Google thinks searchers want a different experience than social media users when looking for local stuff, but it seems odd that the two are so separate given Google’s desire to make them more unified.
UPDATE: Try browsing in Incognito mode:
— Mike Wilton (@mwilton13) July 30, 2013