Image via WikipediaThe street sweeper just drove through your GOOGLE Place page. And it might have been swept clean of reviews. Go ahead...mosey over to your GOOGLE Place page. You will notice a few changes. The most important visible change is, according to GOOGLE:
"Based on careful thought about the future direction of Place pages, and feedback we’ve heard over the past few months, review snippets from other web sources have now been removed from Place pages. Rating and review counts reflect only those that’ve been written by fellow Google users, and as part of our continued commitment to helping you find what you want on the web, we’re continuing to provide links to other review sites so you can get a comprehensive view of locations across the globe."
Ok, here is what GOOGLE is saying: Let's say that you own a country inn and you have a GOOGLE Place Page. Up until July 21, 2011, the number of reviews displayed to the right of your GOOGLE Place Page result on the search engine results page would have been the sum total of all reviews: Google users + Trip Advisor + Bed and Breakfast + Yahoo users. Now the number of reviews displayed will be the total of GOOGLE users, and if NO GOOGLE users have reviewed your property then it will just display the words Place Page. Now you really need to take the time to reach out to your customers, clients, guests, shoppers. If they are GOOGLE users encourage them to write a review. And should they write a review (good or bad) respond to the review.
Like I said at the beginning of this post...the street sweeper went down your GOOGLE Place and if you are a business owner you might want to make sure the street sweeper didn't change the look of your property too much. You know what I mean. Think back to where ever you have physically lived before. Did the street sweeper come by once a week, maybe every month? Remember the street signs that would say "No Parking 9:00AM-Noon TUESDAY STREET CLEANING"? Did you ever forget to move your car?
The GOOGLE Places update that took place last Thursday happened quickly and without warning. It might have been nice to know the street sweeper was coming. What do you think?