Google Places has been growing and making big moves at the end of 2010 and in 2011, which many search marketers were expecting. The most recent, and IMHO the most common sense move, was the ability to leave a review on a Google Places page with your Google account (Hallelujah). If a user is searches on Google and finds a relevant place on Google, then becomes a customer of that relevant place, it would only make sense that this user would be able to leave a review on Google as well. Ok my soapbox is over, onto how Google Reviews work.
How to Leave a Review on a Google Places Page
There are two ways to leave a review for a Places page:
- Login through your personal Google Account
- Leave a review on a Places page
Personal Google Places Account
You have you own Google Places account to review various places and services. Heres what it looks like:
I searched for restaurants in Philadelphia PA some of my favorite restaurants populated in the results. So I left ratings and reviews:
Well that was easy! So what if I wanted to leave a review on a Places page itself instead of within my Google Places account? Ill take you through the process.
Leave a Review on a Places Page
While logged in to my Google Account, I searched restaurants in Philly on Google and clicked on the Places results, which led me here:
Google is showing me restaurants that I might like based on the ratings and reviews Ive posted my account. These are the results outlined in red with little smiley faces. I decide I want to check out the Continental Midtown page:
Its showing me that Ive already rated this restaurant. What if I wanted to change my rating? Scroll down the page a little and look for Reviews by Google users:
I still think it deserves four stars, but I want to leave a review:
I decided to give them smiley faces for Food, Service and Atmosphere, clicked publish viola, my review is live. Going back to my Google Places account, I now see that Ive left a review in addition to the rating I had previously given:
Its a really simple process and one that marketers with Google Places listings should utilize.
Why Are Google Reviews Important?
Although Google will still aggregate reviews from other sources, such as Yahoo Reviews and Yelp, they now have direct information from consumers on products and services, and direct feed into the information they are looking for in reviews Google will populate this review into the Places page. Marketers can now direct their customers to a specific Places page in a Thank You email asking for a review. With more than 193 million monthly Gmail users, there is a very high likelihood that the customer has a Google Account, making it very simple for them to quickly login and leave a review.
How Could the Google Places Team Make Google Reviews Even Better?
Aggregated reviews in the Google Places interface for businesses.