Expected local search game changer is here.


valesence

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People have noticed that google ditched zagat and went back to the familar star ratings in the maps. Today I brought up a search for business and the star ratings are showing back up in the serp 7 pack. The key to local is now to get plenty of reviews and make them positive. Being first in the serp will be less important than high quality reviews. People are drawn to those gold stars.

Me being a business owner I created a clever way to get more reviews from clients. I own a service business and do work in the home of clients. When a client seems especially pleased I will ask (beg) for a review. Problem is explaining to them how to get to the spot for a review. Search my category, don't click on me but click on the reviews. Then scroll down and look for spot to leave a review. After the second step they got a glossy look in their eyes and a review was never going to happen.

So I registered a simple domain name something like rateocp.com (rate orange county plumbing) and pointed this domain name to my google plus page. Then I only had to say, go to www.rateocp.com, look under the maps click write a review.

That is my imput, does anyone else have some clever ways to get reviews from customers?
 
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Colan Nielsen

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This is great news. Where did you see the stars live in the search results?

It's possible to have stars show up by using schema to mark-up reviews in the website. So I want to see if this is that, or if Google is showing stars based on the G+ Local reviews, which would be fantastic!

Thanks for posting.
 

valesence

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stars are based off of google plus reviews. Search plumbing los angeles and it will show up.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Not seeing stars. I am in Canada, could be playing a part in why I can't.

Can you share a screenshot of the SERP's with the review stars?
 

valesence

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ok, I don't know how to do screen shots, sorry. Do you have adwords? There is a tool in there that will let you set the location and give you actual results that would be displayed there.

By the way, why did you move this? I understand it is about google reviews, but this is a huge change and will affect people in big ways. When they removed the star rating, I lost 25% of my calls. I'm assuming my clicks will go up by that much.

---------- Post Merged at 09:36 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 09:31 AM ----------

I don't know how to post screen shots. However if you have adwords you can do searches based off of location and the true results will show up.

by the way, why did you move this thread, I know it is about google plus reviews but this is a major change in the algorithm
 

Colan Nielsen

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Thanks so much for the screen grab. WOW, this indeed looks like the stars are starting to show live in the local SERP's. You are right, this does change things, back to how they used to be before Zagat.

I moved this thread to the G+ Local reviews section because it will be much more easily found for people looking for great posts about G+ Local reviews. Keeping it in the general local search section will allow it to become kind of lost.

This is too important to get buried.

Thanks again for posting.
 

valesence

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And I am not a plumber. Stars are showing up for my industry in all the cities I checked. The plumbing search was just an example for you.
 

Linda Buquet

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Oh WOW! Yes those are Google review stars.

I assumed as I think Colan did that they were rich snippet stars from the site which just started showing up again in local too.

And we've know the stars would be coming back in the SERPs because they just started showing up on the G+L pages.

Looks like you are sitting on a test server that is showing them. I tried every browser with location set to LA and don't see them yet. That happened to me once where I announced a big update but I was the only one that could see it.

But if they are testing the stars are coming soon and you scooped the story!

Off to tweet it now! THANK YOU!
 

Linda Buquet

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By the way, why did you move this? I understand it is about google reviews, but this is a huge change and will affect people in big ways. When they removed the star rating, I know it is about google plus reviews but this is a major change in the algorithm
I moved this thread to the G+ Local reviews section because it will be much more easily found for people looking for great posts about G+ Local reviews. Keeping it in the general local search section will allow it to become kind of lost.
Hey guys since you are both right - this IS about reviews and also IS an important Google update - I'm starting a new thread in the Google IMPORTANT section which members can't start posts in. And I'll link to this post. That way it will be in both places so folks can find it either way.

Will post link here when I get the new post done.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks helps to know. But I don't think it's as much location based.

When I discovered that huge update back in 2010 I was the only one that could see it for a long time. Even others near me could not. So it's whatever datacenter your IP is hitting or something. Maybe it's location based though - not sure.

But the normal pattern is that once someone spots testing, gradually more and more start seeing it - then BAM it rolls out. Hope BAM comes soon! :p
 

Phil Rozek

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Jul 26, 2012
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@valesence

Great catch. Thanks. I can't duplicate the results you show (I'm seeing the same results Colan sees). But it's nice to see that the review stars will probably be coming back to the place where they matter most.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks for posting in the other thread John.

(I nuked the dupe post - wish nuking Google dupes was as easy!) ;)
 

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