Free Tools for Generating Google Review Links now that G+ Reviews are Gone


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If you read my post yesterday, it's official! <a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-important/38386-google-official-reviews-will-not-come-back-g-local-pages.html">Google: Reviews Won't Be Coming Back on G+</a>

Additionally, in case you were not aware our previous work around - adding "review=1" to the link - to trigger the review box, no longer works either.

Before we even knew for sure reviews were not coming back to the G+ pages, savvy pros here were already sharing and brainstorming <a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/local-reviews/38343-google-reviews-hacks-creating-review-url-strings-new-google.html">Hacks for Creating Google Review URL Strings</a> now that you can't use a link to the G+ L page and now that "review=1" is no longer an option.

So out of that forum discussion some new tools were born... Stan Kolev, a developer from Bulgaria, watches this forum closely. When he saw the need for a tool to make our new review link problem easier, he pretty much generated a new tool right on the spot. See discussions, suggestions, improvements and announcement that the product was working here.

I asked Stan to give me a write-up explaining the review tool. Here it is:

Which link are you going to send to your client to write a review?
The Google+ page link? Make him search in Google with 911 additional string in the URL?
How could you be sure that those links work no matter what user device and location is?

Google+ is not going to be for reviews any more And the search in Google can show different business depending on user personalization. Even if you send the search link, a client needs to look for the "Write a Review" button, not to miss it in the Knowledge Graph ( if a Knowledge Graph appears at all ).

A lot of questions and problems, one simple solution: Pleper tools - Google review box generator. This tool generates links that work regardless of the device, creates a short link, and with the bookmarklet, all can even be done by a single click. Errors are minimized, and faster/easier to find the right link.

How are these links generated?

The tool finds the CID (unique identifier for your business across all Google products) and based thereon generates variant of 4 links where your clients can write a review.

Each variant has 3 versions: Full url, shortened goo.gl URL & QR code.

The four variants are as follow:

Variant 1 : Send user to Google search with knowledge graph of your business and search phrase by your decision ( tip : the search phrase can trigger calc/quick answer/carousel etc.) and automatically load the box with all reviews.

Variant 2: Only for logged in Google+ users - only the box to write a review.

Variant 3: Almost same as variant 2, but send first to login box, after that redirect to Variant 2
Almost the same as variant 1, but without automatically loaded box with reviews.


How to use the tool?

Option 1: In "Link to maps" enter url to maps, mapmaker or CID

Option 2: In the autocomplete field start typing your business name and select it from the drop down menu. This will automatically add url in Link to maps.

Acceptable links to maps are :

Code:
https://maps.google.com/?cid=194604053573767737

https://www.google.com/maps/place/%D0%9F%D0%98%D0%A6%D0%98%D0%9A%D0%90%D0%A2%D0%9E/@43.2115343,27.9121908,17z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x2b35f5b0d1d9239

http://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=90&cid=194604053573767737

http://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x40a4540b44631ff5:0x2b35f5b0d1d9239

https://www.google.com/search?q=some+business+name&ludocid=194604053573767737
  
Or just CID : 194604053573767737

Option 3: use the bookmarklet. Go to your place in maps / mapmaker / google knowledge graph (from GMB dashboard) / in google search after click "Show reviews" or "Write a Review" and click the bookmarklet. (Tip: it's also an easy way to find the CID of your page.)

Thanks for creating this free tool Stan. In the original thread there is lots of positive feedback about how well it works.

In the next post, at the risk of making this one too long, I'll share a couple other great options.



What do you think? Have you tried it yet?
<meta property="og:type" content="article"><meta property="og:title" content=""><meta property="og:description" content="">
<meta property="og:image" content="">

 
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Now I'll tell you about the other great options.

First I just need to say how much I love it when our forum community comes together like this to brainstorm and create solutions to all these Google changes.

To give credit, where credit is due... Terry Simmonds was the original inspiration for all of this. Terry shared a post at my Local Search Dynamics G+ Community where he served up a comprehensive list of new review link hacks.

<a href="http://www.uksbd.co.uk/how-to-get-more-google-reviews/">How to get more Google Reviews with the new Google+</a>

When I shared Terry's post here in the forum...

Terry's post gave Stan the inspiration to create the Pleper review tool above.

Next John from Grade.us saw the forum post where all of this came about and thought: "Wow, why are we teaching people to construct intricate call-to-action URLs by hand that just go out of date whenever Google sneezes? Why not spend a few minutes like Stan and “toolify” it?"

So then the <a href="https://www.grade.us/home/labs/google-review-link-generator">Google Review Link Generator</a> was born. It has a really simple slick interface and only requires a name and zip code, so simplifies things even more.

Here is Jon's comment explaining a little about their tool.

@Stan, amazing work--and so freakin' quick! You inspired us to hunker down this weekend and finally start a "labs" section of our website that exposes our own Google review link generator:

<a href="https://www.grade.us/home/labs/google-review-link-generator">Google Review Link Generator</a>

In our tool, we wanted to solve a couple of additional problems:

- automatically find the business's CID based on a name/zip search
- include device-specific URL options for the Google Maps app on Android/iOS

The first requirement was to help non-technical folks construct these URLs themselves.

The second requirement was based on our experience using device-specific GMaps URLs in review campaigns on our platform: the in-app experience is more frictionless than the in-browser one.

Anyway, you and Terry are duly credited. Thanks! Hope you like it...

And here is the forum thread where all that inspiration and brainstorming took place:

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/local-reviews/38343-google-reviews-hacks-creating-review-url-strings-new-google.html">Google Reviews: Hacks for Creating Review URL Strings with the New Google+</a>

Again, the brain power in this forum and willingness to share by our members,
never ceases to amaze me and always makes me proud!

Thank you all!
 
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"Toolify", love it. I echo Linda's statement about the members here. Such great people doing great things to help anyone and everyone. Kudos to all involved here!
 

UKSBD

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I've edited my posts/pages now to provide links to the local search forum and the 2 automated tools.

At the moment I would say Plepers works better, but Johns looks nicer
Maybe the 2 should get their heads together to create the perfect version?
 
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Thanks for posting, Linda.

Didn't you know, Terry? I'm *all about* the looks! LOL.

Stan gives you all of the different variants, short URLs, QRs and bookmarklet: everything a review wonk or SEO could possibly need--just add the CID.

For my audience (think "clients"), I place a premium on simplicity (fewer steps/choices) and guidance: just show what we think are the best, most durable options.

So, Stan has built the "ultimate" tool, the complete swiss army knife. We created more of a trusty single-blade :)
 

stankolev

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Thanks for the update Terry.

As Jon says different audience, different approach :)


I found a nasty problem with the (variant 1), but need few volunteers to confirm the problem.

So try this link :
https://www.google.com/search?q=Gra...91779705096973452#lrd=0x0:0xc603ceabc352c8c,1

Do you see the "Review Summary" in the KG ? It`s look like this :



If yes, is there "View Google Review" link ? If no, everything should be OK.

I`ve few complains that the tool doesn't work and in the proccess of debuging saw few KGs without link to google reviews.

I think that is some kind of glitch when country-specific versions of google is used in different language (eg. google.bg in english and google.com in bulgarian), but not sure. Yes it`s very specific situation, but every review counts.

Found and solution :cool: To send users to Local Finder, but there is catch, the search phrase must trigger a map or the KG. Something like that :

https://www.google.com/search?q=Gra...3ceabc352c8c,1&rlfi=hd:;si:891779705096973452

 
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Super Important! Google just confirmed all the features that will be missing on the new Google+ pages. And it's a lot more than just reviews!

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-important/38436-finally-official-google-statement-all-google-local-changes-after-g-update.html">Finally: Official Google Statement on ALL the Google Local Changes after G+ Update</a>

(Sorry to post this is several threads, just trying to circle the wagons and be sure everyone in any of the G+ update threads sees this.)
 
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Linda, I've started posting some of this info, and especially links to this forum and these relevant threads, over at DT too. I know you're swamped right now, but check in there if you get a chance. Dentists will definitely been needing the link for reviews. I'll be setting this stuff up on my website after Thanksgiving.

From a local small business owner to all of you pros working on this stuff: THANK YOU!!!
 
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Oh awesome. Thanks so much Chip!

Oh haha. I posted right before you did. So I just put a link to my post there, in your post. Then put a link to your post in mine to cross ref everything. I posted in marketing cuz I thought was big enough news to go there. But you posted in the social forum which based on your crafty title is where it should be. :)
 
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This tool is fricken' schweet!

I've gone down the rabbit hole this afternoon with this tool.

I'll be curious to see if it can help w/ getting my clients to finally start getting proactive with reviews.
 

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