Local Marketing Blog
Local Marketing Blog
Local Marketing Blog

It is widely understood that third-party reviews are an essential ranking factor for local business listings in Google. In fact, David Mihm’s comprehensive survey Local Search Ranking Factors classifies reviews as one of  five “general ranking signals.” 

You can think of it this way: Reviews are their own Local SEO category. Besides the sheer quantity of third-party reviews, the quality of the reviews and the frequency with which the reviews are accrued are each separate signals used by Google to determine rank.

The key to Google finding your customer reviews, and thereby conferring a ranking benefit, comes down to three pieces of data — Name, Addresses, and Phone Number (NAP). I have written about the benefits of ensuring NAP consistency across directories before. Google is the most sophisticated search engine in the world, but that does not mean it couldn’t use a little help.

Google’s goal is to return the most relevant search results for its users. To ensure Google recognizes your business as a quality search result for local searches, find every website with customer reviews for your business and ensure the NAP data is consistent with your Google+ Local Page. Make the match as close as possible. Leave nothing to chance.

It is not always clear whether or not Google recognizes a business’s reviews on a given directory, but one way you can tell is by checking the “Reviews Around the Web” section of your Google+ Local page. You can be fairly certain that Google is factoring signals from pages it links to.

Superior Care Auto Center of Brooklyn is a good example:

 

 

 

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  1. I like how your graphic shows that even a bad review or two among a larger number of positive ones is important. I think it builds trust factor as well.
    Another thing to note as a business is to look at competitors that may rank better than you in the SERPs and look at the number of reviews they have compared to yours.
    Now if only there was a way to get Google to remove all those fake reviews!
    Good info as usual, Customer Lobby.

    1. Thanks, Eric

      Yes, and it is worth noting that the performance of the reviews pages themselves in Google SERPS is increasingly important because much of the traffic we now track comes from branded searches; e.g., company name and sometimes a combination of location keywords and/or the word “reviews.”

  • eric beich www.maxmechanical.com

    I like how your graphic shows that even a bad review or two among a larger number of positive ones is important. I think it builds trust factor as well. Another thing to note as a business is to look at competitors that may rank better than you in the SERPs and look at the number of reviews they have compared to yours. Now if only there was a way to get Google to remove all those fake reviews! Good info as usual, Customer Lobby.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes