Is Zagat Rating System on the Way out?


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Hey guys,

I just noticed this on one of my client's pages and am curious if this might be a sign that the Zagat scoring system might be on the way out...

I thought the 1-3 scoring system was rolled out to everyone (it has been months since they first started doing it), and this kind of took me off guard. Let me know what you guys think.
 

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Linda Buquet

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EsR,

Thanks SO much for sharing so our readers learn what's new as soon as it hits!

I was just reading about it over at Mike's blog and yep Google appears to be upgrading
the funky Zagat rating system no one liked.

Hoping the updated descriptive terms make it into the SERPs because even though the
update changed the G+ display the SERPs still show the old 30 point scale.

Here is Mike's post with a lot more details.

Google+ Local Reviews Now Showing Descriptive and Not Numerical Scores

"Last week at Getlisted Local U in NYC, Googler Joel Headley noted that “descriptive terms (poor, good, very good excellent) are going to be integrated into Zagat review interface more going forward”.

Always something new in GoogleLand, eh??? :p
 

BCLocal

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Total shot in the dark but do you think this change could have something to do with the massive delay in reviews actually posting?

I highly doubt it and I don't mean to change topic here but the conspiracy theorist in me had to ask!

Thanks,

Brandon
 
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That was my speculation as well. To me that would make sense. Google is upgrading (and yes, I would consider the descriptive terms an upgrade) the reviews, so other areas of the system could be experiencing issues as well. Maybe there is hope for Google reviews posting.... :p
 

Linda Buquet

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Total shot in the dark but do you think this change could have something to do with the massive delay in reviews actually posting?

I highly doubt it and I don't mean to change topic here but the conspiracy theorist in me had to ask!
Brandon, the inner conspiracy theorist in me comes out all the time.
Google does that to us!
Thanks for letting yours speak up!
:p

Well we know lots of things can go south or get buggy during Google updates.

AND we know some updates take forever to roll out…

AND I've said all along I thought there was something buggy with reviews and it was beyond just over tweaked review spam filters…

AND folks at Mike's blog are reporting now that their owner replies that WERE showing are now MISSING and new replies can't be posted. Mike reported to Google and I just got email back from Jade the engineers are looking into it.

So ya think she has some bugs in her bonnet again. :p
 

Linda Buquet

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ANOTHER CHANGE...

3rd party review counts are now MIA too!

Example: This Dentist Has over 1200 DemandForce Reviews that USED to show on her G+ page
and now don't.
Ouch! :(

FYI SHE RANKS #1 for San Francisco Dentist WITH AN UNCLAIMED G+ LOCAL PAGE and it's largely due to all the DF citations. (More so than the DF reviews.)
 

BCLocal

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Yet another sign of things gone awry at Google+Local. My hope is that these new bugs will help the old ones get fixed faster. Although I'm certain that is just wishful thinking.
 
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I'm not too impressed with the new ranking system.

There is a Chinese restaurant right in front of my condo that is well known largely based on having been in business for 30 some years. But in my opinion, it is the worst Chinese food in my city. We've given them a "second chance" about 4 times over the years, so I'm fairly confident that the lousiness is consistent.

I had ranked them pretty low on the original system. I confirmed it in the Zagat system. And I just now looked at the new system and I see the food is ranked the lowest of the 4 rankings, and the decor and service is ranked at the second lowest settings.

The overall result is that the map displays that I rank this place as Good. That makes it sound like I actually like it. I can't understand how a ranking below the centreline would have positive words attached to it, nor how decor and service are each equal to the food quality and thus combined they outrank it. It appears I have to be untruthful in each aspect to get the overall ranking this place deserves.
 

Linda Buquet

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What I think it odd is the lowest rating. Poor-fair

Poor is BAD
Fair is mediocre or average.
Two different things.

So only one negative rating - Poor-fair (2 ratings that should be separate are combined)
Then we have 3 POSITIVE ratings - Good, Very Good And Excellent.

Seems it should be Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent.

That way in Gregg's restaurant example above you could give them the poor rating it sounds like they deserve OR if they were so-so you could select Fair.
 
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And now they've added a fourth factor; price. The Chinese restaurant is reasonably priced, and I'm afraid if I fill that in I'll bump the place up to Very Good!

Linda hit it on the head with what I was trying to express; how can three out of four rankings be positive, so that even below the average is still positive?

And why do all aspects equally rank? Shouldn't food quality be more important when reviewing a restaurant? I would think that if two places where equal in all respects, then you should go with the one with better decor; but if the food is crap, does the fact that the decor is average compensate for that? Do you read a professional's review where he said he was disgusted by the food, notice that he said the interior was finished very nicely and the staff was polite, and say "Hey, honey, put on your coat, we're going out for dinner!"

In the end, almost everything on the map is going to rank Good or above; likely above. And that will mean that I can't trust the rankings, and will ignore them.
 

Linda Buquet

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And here is how the review looks in situ Bedford Review

I guess that's another load of Rep Management training courses that can chucked in the bin :D
I wanted to embed and share the image Simon linked to above.

It's an AWESOME example of what you could put on a "How to Leave us a Review" page on your web site. REALLY smart having a review already writing in the box to give them ideas about how a review could be written!

<hr style="background-color: #6699cc; color: #6699cc; text-align: center; height: 3px; width: 90%;" />

 

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