The Importance of Google Reviews for Local SEO

Business owners know the importance of reviews for getting customers through the door. Building trust in your community and among your customers is vital for boosting sales, and a good review carries weight. Google recently updated its best practices for…

Business owners know the importance of reviews for getting customers through the door. Building trust in your community and among your customers is vital for boosting sales, and a good review carries weight. Google recently updated its best practices for soliciting reviews. The new information on Google Business Profile Help about Google Reviews reads:  

“Reviews are useful for potential customers when they’re honest and objective. Customers find a mix of positive and negative reviews more trustworthy. You can always respond to a review to show the customers that you care and provide additional context. If the review doesn’t follow our posting guidelines, you can request its removal.” 

Wanted: A Mix of Positive and Negative Google Reviews

The change here emphasizes valuing all reviews, not just good ones. Many business owners have focused their energy on soliciting good reviews and have panicked or gotten discouraged when customers leave negative reviews. Unfortunately, negative reviews will always be a part of the reviews game because no one can please everyone all of the time. Even when businesses offer excellent products and customer service, there will always be unhappy people out there who will go out of their way to let everyone know how unhappy they are by word of mouth or Google reviews.

Working for the same premise, Google is now saying that a business profile that doesn’t have any negative reviews is not as trustworthy as one with a mix of positive and negative reviews. This change only illustrates Google’s emphasis on the importance of local search. 

Will This Affect Search Rankings? 

It’s unlikely that this change will affect search rankings, but Google is continually looking to discourage businesses from gaming the system, so they could potentially flag a profile for an audit if they see only positive reviews. The good news is that this change may take the stress off of business owners who become very agitated or nervous about getting a bad review. Even Google has stated that it’s normal now. 

It is more important than ever to find ways to ask your customers to provide feedback on your services or products. For our hints on how to get more and better customer reviews, click here

In our last blog we discussed how Google My Business is becoming Google Business Profile. If you need help with your local SEO or your business profile on Google or other search engines, we are here to help. We offer our free local SEO listing scan, if you are interested in learning the impact of your local profile. And if we can assist in any other way, please call Tom at 616-426-9303 or send an email to [email protected]

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Tom Damitio

Tom Damitio has been working in digital marketing for the last 9 years in various areas from SEO, content marketing, Pay Per Click, and consulting. The best part of his job is learning about each business and working with them to find the best solution or marketing plan. When he is not working, Tom enjoys being outside gardening, riding his motorcycle, or reading a book.