Google Updates for Google Reviews
If you know brick and mortar businesses who are using Google Local ( places pages) please pass this on to them. If you are an agent who asks your buyers and sellers for testimonials, here are the new current updates from Google:
1. You can no longer use your comment box in your place of business for Google reviews. This means that you can not take those comment cards and type them into your Google Places page reviews section.
2. Customers must have a Gmail account and be a bonifide G+ user to help keep their reviews from being flagged by the spam filters.
3. You can not use your iPad at your business to log your customers into Google Reviews and ask them to leave you a review. Google will not allow reviews from your IP address.
4. You can not in ANY way, shape or form incentivize your customers to leave you a Google Review. That means no offering of gift cards, Starbucks coffee, etc.
5. You are allowed to email your customers after they have left your place of business to encourage them to leave you a Google Review.
For the small mom and pop shops, doctors offices and for REALTORS® this creates too many hoops for your customers to jump through just to leave you a review. Most people don't hang around their computers all day every day and know the workings of Google and other platforms.
Here in South Florida, we have a lot of over 65+ residents who still use AOL for their email! They have never heard of Yelp and don't have G+ accounts. Our chiropractor was going to get an iPad to get the reviews right in his office which was a great idea but now he can not do that. Google keeps changing the rules.
It is one thing to be in the business of ad revenue that Google is in. They get to make their own rules. They are about profits. I have no issue with that. But when consumers take to the internet to search for a doctor or hair salon or a REALTOR® the reviews are important. I understand Google is saying this is the way they are dealing with fake reviews and spam but real people in the real world just don't take the time to jump through dozens of hoops to say something good about someone, but they will do that in order to say something bad about someone!
Maybe you could add to your Google Places page: “To see our client testimonials please visit our website”. And then post all your testimonials on your testimonial page on your website. Link to that page often throughout all your blogs and websites.
authored by Katerina Gasset