Google Reviews Stategy Update


JoshuaMackens

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So, I've been using a strategy I learned from others on how to send people to a particular company's review box immediately. We use it for our review generation system.

Basically, you use a variation of this:

https://www.google.com/search?q=loc...8#lrd=0x886063e768e86713:0xb0c09a679c246642,2

This URL is generated when you Google your local business and click "Write a Review" in the knowledge panel.

It's great because you can actually take that URL, register a domain name like "reviewlocalbiz.com" and then redirect people to the URL. So, now you take what used to be a 4-5 step process and now it's a 2 step process. Login, leave a review (if they have a Google account of course).

However, Google keeps tinkering with this so now I'm getting a little frustrated and wanted to see if anyone else is having the issues I'm having:

1) The URL (as of this week) now won't resolve unless you're logged in to your Google account. If you're logged in it works and the review box pops up. If you're not logged in it cuts the URL short, doesn't display the review box, and just sits on the SERP. Beforehand, instead of just sitting there it would just prompt you to log in. Now? Nothing. Is anyone else seeing this?

2) Your company must have at least 1 review for this method to work on mobile. Can someone else confirm this?
 
Joined
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Hey Joshua,

I definitely feel your pain. Google's tinkering is relentless!

I have observed some of these things too, and sadly I don't have a single-URL answer for you :(

Given your frustrations, I do think you might consider the advantages of using a landing page in your review-gen campaigns. If you point that domain to a landing page, your process never needs to change, but you can do things like: auto-detect the reviewer's device and serve them the most appropriate URL in context, i.e. drive mobile users to the Google Maps app where they're more likely to be logged in already, drive desktop users to the reliable https://plus.google.com/XXXXXXXXX/about?review=1 format URL which will open the review dialog after login and has been intact for many years, etc.

There are lots of other advantages, as well: freely add/remove review site options to provide customers choices (so you don't squander a willing reviewer who "doesn't do Google"), intercept unhappy customers for a service recovery (which biz owners love because it gives them a sense of security), etc.

And I'm not just trying to promote our service, it's the tactics that work and make your life as a marketer better :) I was implementing homegrown landing pages for years before creating a review service around them...

Jon
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
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Hey Jon,

We used to use landing pages but opted for this as it really cuts out the "middle man" so to speak.

We may need to consider going back. I like your points.
 
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Hey Joshua,

I hear you. Good marketers remove obstacles.

It occurred to me that you could probably use the landing page to automatically forward the customer to the appropriate destination based on whatever factors you detect, so that there is no perceptible "middleman."

I detect a feature for the whiteboard! LOL.

Jon
 

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