GetListed Local U – Edmonton

If you are in Edmonton today, be sure to stop by and say hello. Here are articles that go into greater depth around the topics raised in my presentation:

Reviews – Jumping Into the Void

Slide 4 – Google FAQ on Review Issues And some of the ways they might get lost

Slide 11 – Trust in consumer reviews – Nielson

Slide 11- How consumer Reviews Build Trust in Your Brand – Harvard Business Review

Slide 12 – Pew Research Report on Adults & Reviews

Slide 14-16 – A case study – Garnering Reviews – A Mom & (no) Pop Shop finally Hops on Reviews

Slide 20- 7 Tips on Avoiding Bad Reviews

Slide 22-28 – Principles for a Review Plan: Considerations in encouraging customer reviews

Slide 23 – 21 Ways to Get Customers Reviews

Slide 27 – Responding to Negative Reviews – Your Prospects are the Real Audience

Slide 29 -Reviews: Lipstick on a Pig Leads to User Backlash

Slide 31- Google Places: Onsite “Review Stations” AOK with Google

Slide 32 – Asking for Reviews – UMoveFree Finds the Groove

Slide 33-36 – Removing Friction from the Review Process – Crafting a URL

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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5 thoughts on “GetListed Local U – Edmonton”

  1. I was bummed to find out about this event a little too late. I’m only a short drive away and would have loved the chance to see your presentation.
    Next time if you’re in Calgary.

  2. Mike: While attending a meetup on diverse SEO/web topics last night I heard a terrific presentation on reputation management by a partner at http://mangoco.com. Among issues covered were reviews.

    One of the themes had to do with getting control of us much of the first page on google for your business name.

    With regard to that one strategy suggested was to send links to review sites where there are positive reviews for your business. The links you send should most definitely include anchor text for your business name. They don’t have to be powerful or plentiful. In most cases there won’t be tremendous competition on the web for a specific business name.

    I thought of this relative to the original and sometimes still practiced effort to get reviews in a variety of sites…beyond those that show in the Google Places Page. In the past sites such as http://citysearch.com and http://insiderpages.com were among the many possible alternative review sites for businesses. Since Google primarily hid and demoted the visibility of such review sites the suggestion with regard to aggregating reviews in different sources has lost resonance.

    If you do have reviews in sites such as those or others, this particular advice made sense to me.

    In fact once reviews began to gain prominence on the web we reluctantly joined in the process…even as the review process is one of those elements on the web that is subject to all sorts of manipulation.

    We do have smb’s with reviews on sites such as citysearch and insiderpages. We did ask customers to place them there and we did give those customers the urls to the pages……and sooner or later we’ll reference those pages with links to follow up on the suggestion.

    To date the citysite and insiderpages sources do occasionally show up in our analytics(s) packages as sources of traffic. In fact they have led to conversions. But frankly their visibility is scant.

    A second consideration is that one of our business websites recently suffered through a dreaded duplicate issue about 1 month ago. All reviews with the former google places record were lost. I have no idea if they’ll ever be recovered. As part of an outbound email effort we have included links to the alternative review pages. Though we lost a lot of very positive, VERY INDEPENDENTLY written reviews from the Google Places page…we wanted potential clients to know there were positive reviews on the web….so we have been referencing the alternative sites.

    As an smb that has seen reviews lost…I’d strongly suggest each business copies and pastes the reviews posted on the Places Page.

    The instability of the Places Page reminds me of the term…..”here today….gone tomorrow”. Its clearly not the most stable reliable document on the web.

  3. @Dave

    While third party review sites have lost some prominence, it has not been as much as people think and there are multiple reasons to include them in your review plan.

    Firstly Google does show the 3rd party review site links on branded searches AND when you mouse over the listing in the main SERPs.

    Secondly on a search like “Barbra Oliver Jewelry Reviews” these often show prominently down the page with stars (lots of stars).

    Thirdly giving clients a choice of review sites dramatically increases the chance of a getting a review. If they have a Yahoo login or a Facebook login they can still leave a review and you know how hard it is to leave a review at Google for the first time user.

    Fourth, you never know when Google is going to change the rules. The last time they changed the rules if you were following the above advice you were well served. You never know which way things will go or who Google will be friends or enemies with. Next month they might highlight a new partner.

    Lastly, in reading the Google local ranking patent, diversity of review sites seems to be a likely factor in Places/Maps ranking.

  4. All good points, Mike. Having recently lost a lot of reviews on one site having undergone a dup issue, I’m not optimistic about seeing them ever reappear…certainly not following the opaque and confusing messages I’ve received from the support group via the report a problem process.–but that is a different issue.

    I got a different perspective after hearing the review on overall online website reputation management referenced above with the slides from the presentation (that don’t do the entire discussion justice: http://www.mangoco.com/blog/meetup/.

    One thing is that when you google the name of a business there could be a variety of sites that show up on the first page of google. In that case some of the review sites show up. I have smb sites where a different potpourri of referencing sites show up…and the aforementioned review sites from websites such as insiderpages and citysearch are on the 2nd page of google. So what is more or less naturally occurring in your example of the jeweler might not be occurring for other smbs.

    I’m not against leaving reviews on other sites…in fact I’ll keep pursuing other sources. I agree with you…one never knows when big old google will change things…or they will lose the reviews. Diversity is positive.

    As to the algo for places….I’ve read it also and reviewed it with you. One thing about those patents…as Bill Slawski pointed out….you have to test (and test and test) to ascertain whether the aspects they mention have more or less impact.

    Lots of people reference reviews as an impact on rankings. I recall participating in a study you led in which review volume was one thing we tested. I suspect there isn’t a lot of testing these days with regard to the impact of aggregate reviews from ALL sources as an impact. Just don’t know. But it is a good reminder…and frankly assuming its already in the algo…as time passes and Google adjusts the weight of factors over time…assuming its an element of the algo…it would be a positive to have reviews from all sources….good reminder.

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