Maybe your business has 2 reviews and sits proudly atop Google Places. Or maybe you’ve busted your butt for 40 customer reviews but still toil at #13 on page 2 of Google. Perhaps your competitor is outranking you…even though he has 3-star average rating and you have a 5-star average. You’re well aware that reviews influence your Google Places ranking. That’s as true as ever. So what gives?
If you’re a business owner and somewhat keep up with your online marketing efforts, you’ve likely noticed that your Google Places page looks different, or better yet, that your Google Places page isn’t showing up in search results any more. This is because Google converted approximately 80 million Places pages into 80 million Google+ Local pages last month. This is a move toward integrating Search, Maps and mobile all into the new and improved Google+ platform.
In essence, what is more important for higher rankings: The total number of reviews your business has or the quality of your reviews? Among other questions, this is what the Google Places Page Factors report aims to answer.
Google Places Page Factors Top 20
- Physical Address in City of Search
- Proper Category Associations
- Proximity of Address to Centroid
- Local Area Code on Place Page
- Individually Owner-verified Place Page
- Product / Service Keyword in Business Title
- Location Keyword in Business Title
- Association of Photos with Place Page
- Product / Service Keyword in Place Page Description
- Location Keyword in Place Page Description
- Age of Place Page
- Product / Service Keywords in Place Page Custom Attributes
- Number of Actions Taken by Searchers on a Place Page (e.g. Driving Directions, Mobile Phone Calls)
- Numerical Percentage of Place Page Completeness
- Marginal Category Associations
- Bulk Owner-verified Place Page
- Matching Google Account Domain to Places Landing Page Domain
- Association of Videos with Place Page
- Location Keywords in Place Page Custom Attributes
- Inclusion of Offer on Place Page
Google Places Page Factors Conclusion
In regards to the Google Places Page Factors, the best thing to know about these factors is you can’t control all of them: you really cannot and should not try to cook up the reviews, nor should you be too heavy-handed in asking customers where, when, and how to write the reviews for you.
Instead, if you ask enough customers for reviews, over time you’ll cover all the bases (the “Google Places Page Factors”). And that will ensure that your reviews, as a whole, will have the one quality that Google can’t detect but that will win you the most customers: authenticity and sincerity.