April 26, 2016

Google Says Local Reviews Not Ranking Factor, But Is It True? 

Google Says Local Reviews Not Ranking Factor, But Is It True? 

Do local reviews help search rankings? Whether they do or don’t, you should have at least a handful of positive reviews. Find out the truth.

You’ve got a nice, shiny 4-star or more rating with Google reviews. That’s definitely going to help you get business in the door.

Web searchers place a high amount of trust in third-party reviews. And, at least so far, they don’t get manipulated a lot.

So any positive reviews you get are a good thing. And the negative ones can often be a blessing too. That’s because you can learn what people don’t like about your business. Then, you can improve what’s wrong and get more, and happier, customers.

Before Google, you might never have discovered the problem. And that meant it could cost you a lot of business for years without you even knowing it.

Do Reviews Do Anything for Your Search Rankings?

While reviews definitely help your company, do they boost your search rank?

In the case of local reviews by customers, Google’s John Mueller says “no.” See it here at the 17:27 mark in this video:

However, he does continue to say that reviews made directly on your website, since they have content Google can index, can contribute to your search rankings. For local professional service websites, however, this doesn’t come into play. It’s just not the way consumers use those websites.

On the other hand, reviews are hugely popular for product-based e-commerce sites. So if you have one of those, reviews could be a significant source of search traffic.

And a Final Situation Where Reviews Come into Play

As you’ve been searching lately, you may have noticed reviews like this that appear, and especially for websites at larger companies:

To my knowledge, they do not affect search rankings. And these reviews only seem to come at websites of larger companies and brands for the most part.

Should You Get as Many Reviews as You Can?

Reviews absolutely should be a part of your online marketing strategy. After all, they build a large amount of trust in searchers.

If you’re not happy with the number of reviews you have, or your rating, ask more of your happy customers to review you online. You could even ask them for their e-mail and send them a link so it’s super-easy.

Once you have a good number of reviews that make you feel comfortable, you’re set.

And for now, that’s all you need to worry about with reviews.

Stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted if Google changes that!

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