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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Google Launches New Review Monitoring, Reputation Management Module

    Excited to announce that today Google is launching a brand new product that may surprise you.

    Reviews
    (Yes that's the product name!)

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    "Reviews" is a new FREE review monitoring/reputation management module that's built right into the new Places dashboard. (Screen shots below.) The "Reviews" dashboard shows all your Google reviews/ratings AND reviews from thousands of 3rd party review sites. (Pretty much everyone except Yelp.)

    This should come as no surprise, if you read between the lines and watch hints she's been giving us about how important reviews are... like the review overlay right on the search results page and the new Google+ Local page design that features Google reviews AND 3rd party reviews more prominently.


    HERE IS THE "REVIEWS" WIDGET
    (My Google test account for Lindas Snow Shop)

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    Here are some Google reviews (My test account with fake reviews)
    There would be 3rd party reviews below that if my Snow Shop had any.


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    REPLY TO REVIEWS RIGHT INSIDE THE REVIEW DASHBOARD
    Here is the negative review Joel Headley from Google gave Linda's Snow Shop...
    ...and my snarky response to his review.


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    REVIEW SENTIMENT ANALYSIS
    (They look cool and colorful with 3rd party review which my fake listing does not have

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    OFFICIAL GOOGLE BLOG POST HERE:
    Announcing Reviews in Google Places for Business

    I'm really excited about this option and feel it's a win for local businesses everywhere. We all know Google has scrapers. Usually we see those scrapers gathering data for CONSUMERS so they can find all the info they need right on Google. (Info like reviews, flights, hotel rates, related businesses etc.) With this update they put their scrapers to use to help the business owners with meaningful data that can help them manage reputation and hopefully use the info to improve customer service or quality of care.

    OUCH! Just looked at pricing for some of the companies that offer review monitoring. They are going to feel a big dent from this new free Google service. They charge $29 - 400 a month for something Google will now do for free. Big win for all the small businesses that use Google, eh?


    Linda's Q & A (Here are a few Qs I can anticipate...)

    Q: Are "Reviews" available in the old Places dashboard?
    A: No only in the new dashboard, but don't worry you should be upgraded fairly soon.

    Q: Will there be alerts or notifications of new reviews?
    A: Not in this version, but Google is aware it's a much requested feature.

    Q: I'm in X, Y, Z country, will I get this new toy?
    A: This rollout is supposed to be worldwide all at once, not a gradual rollout. So as long as you have the new dash, you should have "Reviews".

    Q: Does anything change with the review process or consumer-facing G+ L page display?
    A: No this feature is tool for business owners - the only change is inside the Places dashboard.

    This would have really surprised me if I didn't know about it, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense for Google to gather this data and show it in the dashboard. And as I said it's a BIG win for business owners to help them stay on top of their reputation across the web.

    For consultants, it's one more report or metric you can share. (Since we know many business owners never log in and check their dash.) I don't think there is a report export option or anything and I'm not sure there will be. But just take a screen shot and add to your monthly reporting.


    What do you think???

    Surprised? Impressed?
    Questions?


    Disclosure: I got a preview/test account. Google did not pay me to write this PR and opinions are my own.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  2. #2
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    Re: Google Launches New Review Monitoring, Reputation Management Module

    Great update! Surprised and Impressed.

  3. #3
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    Re: Google Launches New Review Monitoring, Reputation Management Module

    Here are more helpful links I just got from Google:

    About Reviews - Google Help

    Announcing Reviews in Google Places for Business - Places Forum post
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  4. #4
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    Re: Google Launches New Review Monitoring, Reputation Management Module

    Here are my initial notes:

    1. Third party reviews are displayed in the Google Places dashboard only when they are actually discovered by a Googlebot. Since, there is no set schedule for a Googlebot to visit your profile on a review site, the review monitoring they offer is not really on-demand.
    2. Google pulls review data from structured hreview data (if they didn't, they'd have to write custom scrapers for each review site) - this means that they are missing a lot of sites, including - Tripadvisor, Opentable etc.,
    3. Because they are pulling reviews from structured data, those reviews are snipped at 150-200 characters, and users will need to visit individual review profiles to go read the reviews.

    In all, even though Google is stepping up the game, this is far from being an ideal solution for review monitoring. This was data Google was already providing to us in the form of structured data that they have just aggregated and decided to display in one place now.

  5. #5
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    Re: Google Launches New Review Monitoring, Reputation Management Module

    Super rad update! I think it's great. Small businesses are going to be super happy to have this in their dashboard. It's great for Google too as it will encourage more business owners to actually use their dashboard, and it will encourage more reviews for Google.

    Under Whitespark's listing, this is the only other "review from around the web" it found:
    Whitespark - whitespark.ca - PageSpan.com
    Haha. Not really a review worth reporting. I know we have others out there that they missed.

    Really interesting points Ashwin. I think there may be a lot of companies that will keep their review tracking service running if Google isn't finding all the reviews and isn't sending alerts.
    Darren Shaw | Whitespark Founder
    http://www.whitespark.ca | @DarrenShaw_ | Google+

  6. #6
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    Re: Google Launches New Review Monitoring, Reputation Management Module

    This is great news. To me, it's another data-point - of many this year - that tells me just how badly Google wants G+ users to start laying down reviews.

  7. #7
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    Re: Google Launches New Review Monitoring, Reputation Management Module

    Woo-Hoo!

    I do agree with Ashwin that local businesses may be easily mislead to think this covers all review sites. I know at least one major review site in Australia you have to log in to view anything other than the most recent entry. I don't see how Google could pick the rest of entries up. So it has the capacity to skew results (no, that's not new).

    Even with the limitations, I'm cheering!

  8. #8
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    Re: Google Launches New Review Monitoring, Reputation Management Module

    Appreciate the heads-up Linda! I shared your G+ post too. I'm jazzed that Jade says businesses can "encourage" their customers to do reviews. Way better than Yelp!
    Bobbie Grennier
    Google + Local Reputation Marketing - Google Local Pro
    Catalyst Local Search Pro

  9. #9
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    Re: Google Launches New Review Monitoring, Reputation Management Module

    Thanks all for the comments and resharing this post.

    FYI not sure if this is related to the update or separate or has been around or just happened, but...

    You know how folks were upset when Google started showing reviews in the SERP overlay because it only showed reviews and no owner responses - therefore could look bad to potential customers if they only saw the bad review and not the reply?

    Well owner responses show in the SERPS now too.

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    (FYI not a client or anyone I know, just random example.)
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  10. #10
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    Re: Google Launches New Review Monitoring, Reputation Management Module

    I like it! That's going to be very helpful to the business owners.
    Bobbie Grennier
    Google + Local Reputation Marketing - Google Local Pro
    Catalyst Local Search Pro

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