Google Places: Ever-Evolving
With so many people using Google Places to help them find that new restaurant in town, a cup of coffee, a real estate agent, or a hotel for their next vacation – it's a big deal when Google makes updates to the platform.
Google’s most recent change means third party reviews from sites like Yelp!, Trip Advisor, or FlipKey will no longer be included on Places pages. With so many of our clients taking advantage of the listings that Places offers, we felt it was very important to discuss how this change can affect your listing.
Since so many users are reliant on the social signal of a review to help them determine where to grab that next cup of joe (or where to book their next vacation rental) - it's extremely important to formulate a strategy to get reviews back onto to your Google Places listings pages.
We can offer two main strategies for getting reviews back on your Google Places page:
While micro-formatting sounds complicated, it's really just a structured way of providing data to the search engines. With this format in place, Google can understand the data displayed on your site as a review and show that data in search results!
The micro-formatting solution also offers many more avenues for generating reviews. Such as including a link to a review form on email marketing pieces – a good example would be an email which is sent after a customer completes a stay at your resort, hotel, or rental property.
This has created a much more level playing field in terms of SERP ranking for Places pages. And with that in mind, now is the time to be proactive in sourcing more reviews to help push your Places page to the top of the Google rankings and drive quality traffic to your site!
– Ethan Hinson
Web Developer & SEM Tech