Understanding Google My Business & Local Search
Review Solicitation – Dumb and Dumber
Yesterday I highlighted a review service that was managing the review process for SMBs and posting the good ones into Google, Yahoo etc… an idea that is sure to have a short shelf life and one that is not a good long term strategy. Well here is another.
Aggressive marketers often engage their mouth long before any cognitive activity has taken place. This is an example of that and makes one realize why the process of review gathering is often referred to as “solicitation”.
Ben notes on his website:
Chiropractic Marketing Exposed: We’ve launched a breakthrough new Google Booster Experiment on the Forum in which members promote each others Google Maps listing to get very high rankings on Page One of Google. Watch this Video explaining the whole thing and how to get involved. Watch it NOW!
If you don’t have time to watch the whole video or happen to find the the presenters enthusiasm overbearing, essentially he is recommending that Chiropractors that frequent his forum leave reviews for each other on Google Maps……
Chris Silver Smith had this to say:
Review-swapping, like vote-swapping, strikes me as wrong for the same reasons, albeit on different levels of scale/seriousness. In my opinion, this is a thinly-veiled attempt to exploit reviews for ranking purposes, despite his suggestion of not putting false reviews. I believe Google Maps would perceive it that way, too, which makes it a dangerous tactic to be involved with.
I believe that Google Maps is either not been weighting reviews and numbers of reviews all that heavily (in favor of other ranking factors which I’ve recently been writing about), and they also have means of telling when exploits of this sort are used. I have heard stories of people having their accounts disabled due to detection of exploits in Google Maps reviews.
And Will Scott, Search Influence in New Orleans noted:
We work with a couple chiropractors and there is some serious snake oil out there. These guys are well educated, with years of rigorous training, but they seem overly susceptible to shortcut marketing.
Will’s phrase “shortcut marketing” really says it all. Any review process needs to be part of a well thought long term effort to improve your company’s visibility across the whole local ecosystem.
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