New Google Help Page – To Create a Link for Customers to Write Reviews

Google has added a new help page Create a link for customers to write reviews which explains in detail how to use the Google Maps API to generate a URL that can be used to solicit reviews. (NOTE: this page has been removed as of 7/11.)

Image capture of help page. Click to view larger.

The page is interesting for two reasons.

One it explicitly provides a Google approved way of generating a URL string for asking for reviews. While Google has acknowledged in the forums that is ok to ask for reviews there has never been a specific help page nor an “easy” method for generating the review URL.

Two, the method doesn’t work very often and only appears to work on the desktop some of the time. Go figure. This method now works across all devices, desktop and mobile, Android and iOS.

The steps Google recommends generate the review URL (these steps still work even though the help page has been taken down):

To create a link, you’ll need to get the Place ID for your business. To get your Place ID:

  1. Go to the Google Places API.
  2. Enter your business information in the “Enter a location” field at the top of the map.
  3. Click your business name in the list that appears.
  4. Your Place ID will appear on the map, beneath your business name.

Add your Place ID to the following URL to create your link:

http://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=<place_id>

Using the example above, the URL with the Place ID added would be:

http://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ChIJ6SA9csE53YkRYUvDLGo00OQ

Unfortunately, at least for now, the URL that Google is providing doesn’t always work or doesn’t work in different browsers or doesn’t work in mobile. Exactly when and why it fails is not clear.

For example the example link (for Kaplan Insurance Agency) above works in Chrome on my Mac but not from Safari and not on my iPhone in either browser. On Safari on the my desktop it generates the Knowledge Panel but not the review box. This is likely due to Safari’s poor handling of redirects which this URL does.

I hear from Helmut that the URL does work on Android. I still can not get it to work on iPhone on either Safari or Chrome but it does appear to be working on Google Now for Android. Would love others to test.

I have observed in the past that features and new search parameters (like /local/writereview?placeid) do not  necessarily roll out to all browsers simultaneously. If we are lucky Google will be fixing this and rolling it out across all browsers on all platforms. For now it just as easy to copy the URL that Google generates from the Knowledge Panel or use one of the many tools to generate the URL.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
New Google Help Page - To Create a Link for Customers to Write Reviews by

20 thoughts on “New Google Help Page – To Create a Link for Customers to Write Reviews”

    1. The 404 was my brain fart on that front. But the URL does NOT bring up a Review box on Safari on Mac, just the Knowledge Panel. And as noted, it doesn’t work on iPhone. Does it work on Android?

  1. Yes Mike
    Any links with a valid place-id at the end and of the layout of
    search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid= work on Adroid for me

    But for me there is (beside of your Mac and Safari lack of the method) as you are reporting here an other issue too:

    For not yet very clear reasons we don’t get always valid place-ids using the place-id -finder linked in Gooles HC as https://developers.google.com/places/place-id.
    See more in here http://goo.gl/1Phf7u – its my try to get help about this other lack on functionality to create such review links (posted on Stack Overflow for “Place API”)

  2. It basically creates the same link as the other review link generators but adds a 3 to the end instead of a 1.

    I much prefer using 1 as people who are not signed in can see existing reviews and are only prompted to sign in to write the review.

    2 or 3 is probably better though if just using it to ask for reviews.

  3. Hi Mike,
    Thank you for this post.

    We are working with a couple of cleaning companies and tried to get an ID but it seems that this works for brick-and-mortar addresses only. Our GMBs are created to cover are.
    As with the examples above, you can get the ID of a “pin”, yet our “dot” businesses are not even showing on Places API.

    Do you know of another way to get the IDs?
    Thanks, Maya

  4. @Miriam
    Easy come easy go. It appears that Google has pulled the page down. Click on the screen shot above to see what it LOOKED like.

  5. very useful information, thanks!

    some further questions:

    1.- any tool or spreadsheet to get placeIds in bulk mode?
    2.- is there a similar link to “SEND TO DEVICE” option?
    3.- is there a similar link to “SAVE” place (star) in my maps?

    T.I.A.

  6. Thank you. I spend some time trying to get the google help page link to work with my Place ID and just kept getting an error. I thought I would google it (LOL) and look for a different page and I found yours. Your link worked. Thank you so much.

    Dawn.

  7. We have a new location for our business and I am trying to create a link for customers to review it. Although it has already been verified and it shows as a published location in Google My Business, Google Places API can’t find it when I enter the business information in the “Enter a location” field. Funnily enough, it is still showing an old location that we deleted a few days ago. Does it take some time from when a new location has been verified until it can be found by Google Places API? Thanks so much for your help!

    1. @Laura
      Simply find your locations Knowledge Panel in search (i.e. a company name + location search) on Chrome. Click on the write a review link and copy that URL.

      It will work fine. If you are a service area business and hide your address you will not show in the tool that Google provides

  8. Hi Mike

    there are about 5% of GMB listings (guessed amount) and Gooles HC as https://developers.google.com/places/place-id does’t even show the place ID.

    I figured out a special hack to get for all such GMB listings nevertheless their place IDs.
    For more users should view my placefinder business site:
    http://get-your-working-place-id.business.site/

    To figure out your place ID I need the filled form “place ID for your GoogleMyBusiness” (https://goo.gl/cgV9nH) only

  9. Tried this, used the Google Places API with Google PlaceID Finder javascript but the business name is not listed in the Google Places API, It lists major businesses but not mine. I was not able to get an accurate PlaceID. My business name and address is accurately listed and displayed on Google Maps.

  10. I have tried your link, Google’s link, and another link – all with the same results. I’ve tried the link in Chrome, in Edge, and in Explorer. Nada.

    How can I tell if the place ID code is incorrect?!

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