Mike Blumenthal dissects Google Places’ latest redesign:
According to Mike:
“They include a strong call to action (review, upload photos) and clear sense of priorities as to what is important going forward – even coupons now have a higher visibility – more user generated content, more understanding of your social circles intent and a greater desire, at least in the hotel industry, to use Places to “close” the sale.”
While reviews are still a big part of Places, my initial impression after checking out Mike’s screenshots is that Google thinks that reviews are a much lower priority than other elements such as coupons and social mentions.
6 Response Comments
I just wanted to make a little note – actually prior to May this year, coupons were showing up under the Reviews sections, and afterwards they were moved up. This happened during the last big Google Places interface restructure, when also the Photos & Videos were moved up. For me, it’s pretty obvious (also from the last month’s removal of the photos from the organic search results) that Google is pushing the photos forward. The importance of images in the organic search results is also obvious, and is definitely increasing the CTR. So for some time now, something like “paid photos” is spinning in my head.
I come to the same conclusion: I need to hire better photographers and video makers for my clients. I can see my fees rising now.
Reviews are EVERYTHING in my business.
Any service business, whether it is a plumber, electrician, contractor, etc..reviews are the most important metric there is.
Coupons don’t mean squat to customers that just want someone who shows up when they say they will, know what they are doing, and can get them fixed quickly.
It is frustrating when we have well over 100 great reviews from customers on various sites that Google refuses to recognize even though those sites say they have “optimized according to Google’s requirements.”
Considering that 30+% will leave a review after a bad experience and that only 2-5% will consider doing the same after a good one, I think this is smart on Google’s part. How about what people are really saying about a brand? How about creating a discussion that includes price and other factors vs just experience and negativity? I seriously think that Google+ may possibly become the cure to review spam and fraud…. you?
That would be nice. Now, if only I could get in Google+ 😉
Yah, this is why I feel its important that local businesses make sure to add the new promotions/coupons/discounts to their online profiles such as Google places, Yelp, and Manta.