Google Places: Access your Places reviews as a feed – NOT!

I saw this tweet from Google last night and had a flush of excitement, at least for a second, as I thought that Google had finally solved a perennial problem for SMBs; how to track their reviews in Places.

I immediately rushed over to their post, thinking I would stay up late to write up a report only to find that it wasn’t the long awaited business solution to easily knowing when there was a new Google review for you business. Silly me thinking that Google has solved a long standing problem. Nothing so elegant.

No, it is an RSS feed so that reviewers have a feed of all the reviews they have created and a way of importing more Places via an RSS feed.

Businesses have needed and wanted a solution to the review problem since the introduction of Places pages in 2009.

When was the last time you heard a reviewer ask for an RSS feed of their reviews? Well maybe some reviewer some place did… but then I suggest you follow Google instructions and go find it. Instead of attaching it to the obvious place in your main Google profile or making the existing review list more visible it is is hidden in your Hotpot area.

Google needs to be making local products easier to use, not harder. They need to be making Places a page that a business can’t live without. Hopefully we will see a solution to the review tracking problem some day. In the meantime, one has to wonder whether this type of upgrade is the best way for Google to spend limited local resources.

Note: Getlisted.org and MyReviewsPage.com both offer solutions to this problem that Google should have addressed long ago.

 

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Places: Access your Places reviews as a feed - NOT! by

11 thoughts on “Google Places: Access your Places reviews as a feed – NOT!”

  1. Mike – I agree completely. I doubt most people who leave reviews really need an RSS feed to track them. Especially if you always use Google Places because you can see them all in one place with your account.

    What would be great for a customer would be a WordPress-like comment feature where a person could subscribe to their review thread. (Like you use on this blog.) If I leave a review, it’s nice to know if the business responds. It tells me something about how they do things.

    Thanks for the tip on MyReviewsPage.com. Going there right now…

    Kevin Stirtz

  2. @Kevin

    There has long been (again a relatively hidden) Map user profile where the list exists as well…. so it isn’t clear why they need another not very useful way to track a review.

    Your idea of subscribing to an automated reply that allows to see just owner comments or all reviews would be useful… in fact it would solve multiple problems allowing both the business and the reviewer to be alerted…

  3. How timely a post. Mike today I am to make suggestions to several businesses on where they should direct their customers to post reviews for them online. What would you suggest? Judy’s Book? Insider Pages? Yelp?

    It is clear by now that Google does not care about fixing the problems in with their system of Reviews or Ratings or whatever they call it. It’s broken so I will not be suggesting this as the best option. Thanks!

  4. @Jeffrey

    I would suggest Yelp, CityGrid, Yahoo and (even though it might pain you)…Google. Let the customer decide and use the one that is easiest for them

  5. Just last week we discussed how Google is losing good reviews and it is obvious that they dont want smbs to see how bad it is. I found a review sharing service in CustomerLobby.com and a review pulling service at ReviewPush.com.

    I see this getting much attention, and Facebook and check-in being the real winner. Status updates are huge and online reviews are the new repeat and referral.

    Lets hope Google decides to give good data to smbs.

  6. Hey Mike, just a reminder in case your readers are looking for a solution to the problem you’re pointing out. Chatmeter.com is designed to do exactly what you are talking about. We have free and paid services that monitor your reviews not only on Google Places, but across all review sites. In addition, our service monitors social media, blogs, articles and your business listings.

  7. Mike S, I assume you’re asking me about how chatmeter compares. I really couldn’t say since I don’t know much about their technology. (Nor would I dare on a public blog!) The best way is for you to compare and you can tell me. We have an agency solution and can set you up on a free demo system if interested. If so, email me at cholmes@chatmeter.com. Thanks!

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