Many people have asked for predictions of what I think could happen with Google+ this next year, and the only thing I tend to offer is this…
There will be a real push on Google Local now that Google My Business is rolling along well.
People will a) want to be on the map, b) start to get reviews, and for the keenest people c) they will start to build their networks.
This focus on Local means starts to put the value of quality customer service right to the top of list for businesses (if it is not already).
Why does this matter so much?
When someone reviews using Google, once there are five reviews for a business, the stars show in Search.
And when you compare a listing with stars with a listing that has no stars, it is obvious to see the psychological pull of which one you would choose.
Also, when you see the one that has no stars (e.g. Browns in the list below), it doesn’t really encourage a click:
You think it isn’t going to happen?
I say it has already started:
This is a screenshot for ‘Sushi San Francisco’ – look at the number of reviews they have already, with the bottom one having 132 reviews.
This is a battle, and it is not on Yelp. These are all Google reviews.
As this wave builds, we should add this is not all about ‘getting reviews’, this is about doing the right thing by the customer so they want to give you an awesome review; it also includes what to do when you get a less than favorable one, of course.
Myself and the PYB team are working on BIG plans to help small businesses in 2015, including how to get more reviews too.
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