Google Announces Major Changes to Online Reviews
In late July Google announced major changes to the way they deal with and post online reviews. Previously Google had aggregated all reviews about a particular business into one total. For example, let's say your dental practice had 37 total reviews coming from Citysearch (17), Yelp (7), Google Reviews (7), and WEO Reviews (6). Before the change Google would show 37 reviews next to your practice's website listing. After the change it will only show 7 reviews... you guessed it... the 7 reviews from Google itself.
Essentially Google has prioritized its own review platform as "THE" review platform and dramatically minimized all others. In this example your dental practice would also have the Citysearch, Yelp, and WEO Reviews listed, but they would be found separately down at the very bottom of the search result in small print.
What does this all mean?
Well, for Google users it means it is now far more important to have a Google Places page, AND encourage your patients to go there and post positive reviews about your dental practice. For Yahoo and Bing it remains to be seen if they will follow Google, or keep doing what they are doing, or go in a different direction. We are keeping a close eye on these developments and will continue to notify our clients of additional changes.
WEO Media can help with this. We will setup Google Places pages for our clients, and implement strategies to have patients write reviews there. Please contact us to learn more.