What are these Developments?
- There has been a complete change in consumer behavior and online searches for businesses.
- Google has also launched a new filter that helps users exclude business with less than 5 reviews, or if they score less than 4.0 out of 5 stars from search results.
- Google has also launched the ‘Top Rated’ filter, which provides the same results in one click.
- There has been a massive increase in the number of reviews posted on Google, compared to results in previous years.
The reviews posted on Google are now regulated by the government with the Competitions and Markets Authority. It ensures that the wording and spirit of the review should be appropriate with the business, while there are rules for the reviews businesses need to follow.
Here is what they need to do now:
Most businesses have now started focusing on acquiring their own Google review management program. That is one way they can stay one-step ahead, and maintain their online reputation. However, to benefit from managing your own reviews, you need to ensure that you comply with all the rules set by the CMA.
- Testimonials will not be called reviews by businesses.
- Businesses must enforce their customers to write reviews at their discretion.
The Rise of Independent Review Sites
In the earlier part of the 21st century independent review sites were leading the way, while Google stayed away from reviews. This allowed these websites to start making fake and fraudulent reviews, which led to thousands of businesses flourishing and suffering losses.
There were no checks and balances measures until Google decided to step into the game. Seeing that Google controls most of the online searches worldwide, this was a death blow to independent review websites that couldn’t get visibility on Google. The world of reviews is arguably controlled by Google and Facebook.
Reasons Why Businesses Have Not Engaged with Reviews
The upgrade Google has made to its review system has changed the way businesses look at online reviews. Until now businesses didn’t care about negative or positive reviews, since that didn’t affect their search engine ranking. That has all changed because Google penalizes business websites if they are getting bad reviews, and their ranking will drop on search engines.
This has caused panic among businesses, who assume that not getting reviews on Google will help them out. This is because they believe that if they don’t have negative reviews about their business, it will not affect their rankings, but having no reviews doesn’t help them as well. We live in a digital age, where customers are always searching for and sharing information about businesses and services. If your business doesn’t have any reviews, you will lose out on valuable customers.