Google now summing up reviews in its own words?


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Hi all,

I may be late to the game on this one, but I just noticed: Besides the now-elderly "Review Summary" features including rating distribution, average rating and "People talk about" list of keywords, Google appears to be adding its own stylized narrative summation of a business's reviews, like:

Long happy hours lure locals to this cozy lounge with sofas, TVs, drink specials & a relaxed vibe. - Google


I'm curious what others are seeing and whether anyone thinks it's a meaningful update. I haven't seen it written about here or on Mike Blumenthal's blog, but maybe it's old news and I just missed it ;)

Cheers,
Jon
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks for sharing Jon! Pretty sure that's new news.

I found the listing and scanned the reviews.

At 1st I assumed they were just quoting one of the reviews. But it almost looks like they took parts of several and re-wrote into a Google style sentiment analysis. :confused:
 

Phil Rozek

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@Jon

Good find, but those Google op-eds have been around for a while. But they're not too common, and they seem to be a holdover from Zagat ratings. I've only seen them for food-related businesses.
 
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Thanks, Phil. I thought there was something vaguely Zagat about that summary :) Maybe it's not alogrithmic (a la Summly, Narrative Science, etc.) after all!
 

ccoke

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Hi,

I wanted bump this thread up because in light of the recent removal of the carousel and introduction of the new 3 pack, it appears this "review summary" is gaining prominence and may be more important as that is what google is showing in the new local results. So I am wondering if anyone has had any success in determining where Google is getting this from (writing on their own or sourcing from somewhere else) and how a business could go about trying to influence Google to include a summary on their business. It would seem that a business that does not have a nice summary could suffer from a lower CTR than its similarly positioned competitors.

Thanks
Casey
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Casey,

Glad you bumped this because I have new info to share. I discovered this a couple months ago but have only posted the link a couple times.

Google now in some cases actually writes their own editorial summary.

This Google help doc explains how all the various snippets are generated.

Short business descriptions on Google

Editorial summaries are short descriptions compiled by experienced editorial writers designed to give Google users a quick snapshot of popular businesses. These summaries are phrases or sentences (such as the example on the map above: “Southwestern fare in a modern setting”), which you will often see when you click the business on Maps.

Editorial summaries show on the map or alongside review and rating information, such as in the “review summary” section.
 

ccoke

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Thanks Linda...very useful!

I dont suppose you have any insight into how Google decides which businesses they will write an editorial summary on?
 

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