How to Get Review Cred in G+ Local as a Top Reviewer- As a Business Page

When Google rolled out G+ Local with Zagat reviews they changed the ordering of review content from time based to most helpful. As part of that ordering they added a new category of reviewer known as a Top Reviewers. These were folks that had reviewed a large number of locations. Google also added the ability for a business (and I presume its many managers) to leave reviews of other businesses.

Like all things Google the Most Helpful ordering of reviews is algo based and includes elements like the quality of the reviewer (in terms of followers on G+ and number of reviews), the language of the review, the recency of the review and who knows what else. One of the attributes of reviewer quality is the Top Reviewer assignation. According to this post to become a Top Reviewer one needs lots of reviews, a significant number of followers and a reviews that have been found helpful by others.  It is not clear whether being reviewed by a Top Reviewer increases rank but there is every reason to assume that a review from a Top Reviewer is carefully watched by Google for other signals and content.

What never occurred to me until this morning was that one way to become a Top Reviewer was to do so as a Google+ Page for your business rather than an individual. A business page can have as many as 50 managers so reviews would aggregate more quickly and ease the burden of any individual reviewer. Obviously this business recognized the opportunity and has leveraged it.

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How to Get Review Cred in G+ Local as a Top Reviewer- As a Business Page by

13 thoughts on “How to Get Review Cred in G+ Local as a Top Reviewer- As a Business Page”

  1. Great find. That is a very real branding opportunity for those willing to write reviews.

    I will buy a beer for the fist to spot a sock puppet account showing up as a “top reviewer”!

  2. Thanks Mike.
    I have a few things to add since this caused me to start poking around. The point that the person needs a lot of followers doesn’t seem to be true. I ran down the list of places in New York, and started looking at the ‘Top Reviewers’.
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/local/New%20york%2C%20ny/s/by%3Aexperts

    I found “Amber King”, only has 10 in her circle and 14 followers, but has 458 reviews.

    Another “Ema Takeda” also labeled “Top Reviewer”, 86 in her circle, and 83 have her in a circle, and has 642 reviews.

    I also noticed that every place doesn’t have the “From Top Reviewers” button option as shown in your screenshot, but I can go to New York, NY and click on it and then go to other places like Phoenix, AZ that doesn’t have it normally.

    Looks like I just have to start reviewing more places to see if it is a review count.

  3. Steven

    I agree that it seen to be review count only. At this point I have only seen Top Reviewers in very big cities and those cities where Google has a team on the street like Portland. It is not clear what would happen in a rural town or midsize city where Google doesn’t have feet on the street.

  4. Mike,

    I don’t think this is a “good” thing. I’m not as entrenched as you are in this so tell me what I’m not getting please.

    First, what relevance does a review from a business have to a consumer? I think most probably intuitively know that b2b is different than b2c, right?

    Second, and more importantly, can Google not learn anything from Yelp? Remember the July article for the LA Times on the BNI review writing ring? http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/04/business/la-fi-yelp-reviews-20120704

    Businesses swapping reviews, no matter how legitimate, isn’t relevant and will likely “look bad” to conumers.

    Ryan

  5. @Ryan
    Certainly bogus review rings like link farms before them are destined to fail. But a business that is scrupulous about the places it reviews and the content of the review could achieve recognition and branding via this.

    Unlike Yelp, the UI in G+ explicitly allows for and notates that it is a business review. It is baked in. Like most technology it is morally neutral and only takes on an abusive flavor or its benefit based on how it used.

    A good review is a good review and as long as everybody understands its source I don’t think it is intrinsically bad.

    P.S. Do I need to write a special post addressed to car dealers explaining the many ethical pitfalls that might come with this feature?

  6. Thanks for taking the time to respond Mike. I missed that it was designated as a B2B review. I agree that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it, but I’d sure like to see my dealers focusing on the consumer as I think the relevancy is far greater to their prospects.

    Thanks again for all you do here.

    Ryan

  7. It’s baked in, great point – only the unscrupulous people make it dirty.

    Positive for sure – looks good to consumers, prospective & long-time loyal alike…businesses actively engaging other businesses in town. The people are smart enough to flush out any unethical partnerships if the business owners lack the intelligence to engage in such BS, never mind the moral compass.

    If I as a consumer like (in a real emotional sense, not a mouse clicking social sense) a local business, I’d be interested to see where they line up on such important things like civic outreach and community affairs…in addition to things like their favorite bagel, beer, bait store, coffee, butcher…etc.

  8. The B2B review is a nice feature…. not worried about B2B review spam, few businesses would ever abuse this… but what is really important to small businesses is that they understand what a top reviewer looks like in their city. Find them, circle them. Offer them an incentive to come to your business. If they review most businesses and you believe in your services/products, then they’ll most likely review you too.

    I get the branding reach too of becoming a business who is a top reviewer in the city. If done right, where you actually are reviewing legitmately it could have some reach.

    It will be interesting to see which marketers figure out how to ethically leverage the review space.

  9. I had no idea one could even leave a review as a business page. I’ll definitely try it out, although I have a feeling Google could be keeping their eyes open for reciprocal reviews to possibly flag as spam.

  10. Very good news. We’ve primarily been using LinkedIn recommendation for B2B reviews (although i don’t think Google considers this in their search algorithm). In our line of work we do often have to setup a Google + places pages for our clients. If we asked them to review our company via Google+ would we be penalized?

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