Google Local Reviews WordPress Plugin


Linda Buquet

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Ever wanted to display your Google Local reviews on your WordPress website? Here is a plugin that looks pretty flexible. Ran into this tool over the Holidays, so wanted to share.

The Google Places Reviews plugin is not just a sidebar widget, but it can be a widget if that's where you want your placement. However it also utilizes WP shortcodes so you can place the reviews anywhere on the site.

The plugin uses the Google API and is limited to displaying 5 reviews. There are several themes and there is also a FREE version.

Here is a little video showing how it works...

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fXQA5kXRm88?rel=0&showinfo=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>​


I scoured through their support forums to find some real world examples for you:

Nice looking sidebar reviews on Dental site

In content full width example

In content full width example (Scroll down to see the 5 Google reviews.)

Half page content display

Here is the free version at Wordpress, so you can try before you buy.

Here is the developer site that has the Pro Version, additional documentation and a support forum including pre-sales support: <a href="http://googleplacesreviews.wordimpress.com/">Google Places Reviews</a>

I noticed 2 limitations, BUT the limitation is in the Google API, not the plugin: Reviews are limited to 5 and are not randomized. So you may have 45 reviews but the same most recent 5 will show on your site until you get a new review.

I have not tried it and don't know the developers. Just wanted to pass it on in case it's of interest to anyone here.

UPDATE: After writing this I was searching an image and discovered Mike Blumenthal covered it previously. Oops should have checked there 1st. His overall impression of the software was good. There was an issue with Schema, but according to the support site, the developer removed Schema based on Mike's feedback, so it's no longer an issue.

Oh well, since I took all the time to research and write this, I'll still share. Could be some of you missed Mike's post or forgot the option was out there.

If you try it please let us know what you think.
 

Andy

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Hello Linda

wouldn't using this plugin end up creating duplicate content on one's website and make google pull the reviews off the GMP page?

Best

Andy
 

Linda Buquet

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Good point Andy. Should have mentioned that, but I'm sick and super spacey.

PLUS that's something that some suspect CAN happen. But it does not always. I have some of my reviews from G+ copied in various sidebars, more on my main site too and they are all fine.

Looking at one of the examples I shared: Dentist West Pennant Hills | Taylor Street Dental Their reviews are all fine.

Plus Mike didn't raise it as a concern and he has a review business.

However if you are concerned about that, then the only way to share your reviews on your site is with images and attribution.
 

heckler

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...make google pull the reviews off the GMP page?
Does G really pull reviews due to duplication!? I would love to know more about this.

I would think the benefits of having new content periodically appearing on the page should eclipse any duplicate content concerns. You could adjust for it by reducing the number of reviews listed on the widget and/or by creating a sidebar specifically for your conversion/landing pages that contain the widget.
 

Margaret Ornsby

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Or you could use this link and not have to use a plugin.

https:// plus.google. com/app/basic/local/yourpageid/reviews

Had to put the spaces in to keep the forum from turing it into a live link

Apparently embedding it into an iframe and then disallowing crawling via robots.txt prevents duplicate content issues.
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/webmasters/5Ba17eqqKdU

or no-indexing the page, if you dedicate an entire page to the reviews...
 
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Has anyone actually tested this plugin on client sites or their own sites? I'm interested, but want to see if there are other development problems that haven't surfaced yet.
 

Linda Buquet

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In addition to personal experience, you can check their support forums. I spent quite a bit of time checking them out and seems they are pretty responsive and many of the problems were operator error or whatever. So might check there too.
 

Linda Buquet

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Or you could use this link and not have to use a plugin.

https:// plus.google. com/app/basic/local/yourpageid/reviews

Had to put the spaces in to keep the forum from turing it into a live link

Apparently embedding it into an iframe and then disallowing crawling via robots.txt prevents duplicate content issues.
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/webmasters/5Ba17eqqKdU

or no-indexing the page, if you dedicate an entire page to the reviews...
Whoa that reviews link is very cool Margaret. I had not seen that before.

Here is mine so folks can see what that page display looks like:
https://plus.google.com/app/basic/local/113358377118440631404/reviews

Now that's not a good link to give clients or put on your site I don't think, because I don't see a way to LEAVE a review on that page. But I can see where it would be the best way to do it if you were going to do iframes or something.
 

TonyIsSocial

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Since it utilizes the Google API that you have to manually sign up for yourself, it's not duplicate content. Same goes for their Yelp and YP.com review widgets.

I've compiled the conversations on Mike's post and an email conversation with Matt Cromwell, developer from the creator: WordImpress.

Review of the WordImpress Google Places Reviews Plugin | Cartography Marketing (affiliate links in there)

Also, you can see the free trial version on my about page:
About | Cartography Marketing

Probably the coolest part of the widget is you can filter reviews (e.g. display 3 stars + only).

They're very open to feature requests, especially from us, the target market.
 

Margaret Ornsby

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Good point Linda, about not being able to leave reviews.

At the time I discovered that little treasure, I don't believe Google had clarified their position on testimonials, reviews and review markup. Knowing what I do now I would be less inclined to use it, but it may suit specific circumstances...
 

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