Google+ Local pages are used for businesses that primarily serve customers in a local region.
Typically on a Google+Local page details such as name, phone number and address are seen. In addition to this, business hours, location on the map and reviews of the business are seen too.
Before the update, reviews were seen inside the box which had some information about the business. However these were just the review on the business page. The new update will scan the web looking for reviews across all sites, thereby displaying the reviews that make most sense. Let’s have a look at some of the new rules driving this change.
• Snippets shouldn’t be captured by the business owner unless they are legitimate and aren’t paid reviews.
• Reviews must allow the customers to express any sentiments and the owners of the business doesn’t have a say in reviewing it.
• Reviews cannot be an average or a rating built on the general sentiment expressed by the customer. So 10 reviews with 6 positive and 4 negative cannot be expressed in terms of a 6 out of 10 score.
• Reviews for businesses with multiple locations such as retail chains or franchises can be updated for specific locations only. Store A’s customer reviews will not show up store B’s review page. A syndication of reviews isn’t permitted.
• Content providers are unbiased and have no personal gains behind the review provided.
• Duplication is avoided.
• Reviews that have been directly captured on your site is used by and not the reviews from other sites.
The last rule may have the largest impact on the websites that have implemented local reviews markup.
Reviews from companies like Yelp or Trip Advisor were seemingly not eligible to be included. Reviews from the web, however, is intended for sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor, whose content and reviews generated by consumers rather than critics.
On the desktop, reviews from the web will appear in the knowledge panel and in the mobile; they will appear above critic reviews. Any publisher employing the Schema markup for reviews is eligible to be included.
However, Google states that it is only trying to bring in relevance to the content that is being captured as opposed to a few critics of Google who state that this is a drill to exercise their monopoly.
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