Update 5:00 pm: The Google Lat Long Blog has officially announced the rollout of their improved sentiment reporting. They also noted that they have “improved [their] ability to find reviews of places, searching more quality sources of information from across the web”. I have heard reports recently of dramatic jumps in some Place’s review counts.
The ever astute & voluble Earlpearl, has pointed out that Google has added a new interface twist to the Places page where they now indicate that a record is Owner Verified and shows a checkmark if it has been claimed into the Local Business Center.
If the record is unclaimed there are now two choices; one to do a community edit and the other allowing the business owner to immediately claim the record into the Local Business Center. Previously the interface involved the circuitous route of selecting the edit link, then being taken to the Maps view info bubble and being required to again make the choice. While a minor interface upgrade, it will make it clear to both the editing public and the business owner what they need to do to correct a record while on the increasingly visible Places Pages.
Additional Sentiment Analysis:
Note on the above example the additional sentiment categorization now showing when there is enough information for the algorythm to break out the details. In addition to the sentiment summary that has been visible at the top of the page, the sentiment is categorized, summarized and the user is given a choice to expand.
I am not sure when this feature was added but this is the first time I have noticed it. I have only examined several restaurant listings but the detail appears to be broken out on a content available basis. That being said, in the examples that I looked at, this detail showed only on listings with 13 or more reviews. I assume that it is possible for the sentiment detail to show up on restaurants with fewer reviews if the sentiment is consistent across some indeterminate number of reviews. Update: here is a restaurant with 11 reviews showing sentiment details: Old Library Olean.
Here are several more examples from the Buffalo area of the types of sentiments displayed:
Chef’s Restaurant with 47 reviews:
Rue Franklin with 19 reviews:
Bacchus Wine & Restaurant with 28 Reviews:
In addition the sentiment bars indicated the quality of the sentiment by a change from Green for Good to Red for Bad on this Olean hotel:
While the detailed sentiment analysis is not appearing in every industry where there are enough reviews and sentiment summaries, I have spotted the more granular results amongst locksmiths, plastic surgeons and dentists.
In countries where community edits are not yet permitted there is only the “Business owner?” link at the top of the listing.
As David Mihm has pointed out, sentiment analysis now appears to be much more prominent in the display of a business’s information on the Places Page and has become a more important influence. It is also reasonable to assume that it is now playing a more important role in ranking.