Just recently there have been numerous changes from Google. As well as the launch of the highly anticipated Google+, one of the main changes is Google Places. Due to a high number of complaints from third party sites such as Yelp and Trip Advisor, Google has now removed all reviews generated by these third party companies as they were unhappy with Google using their reviews without permission.
Before Google made the changes various reviews from other third party websites were automatically added to various listings in Google Places. In most of these cases these websites had not given Google the permission to use such content. After many complaints Google finally made the decision to remove all reviews taken from other websites. Also as part of this recent change, Google is instead including links to these reviews available on third party websites, and all reviews left by its users on Google Places will remain.
One of the other changes announced is that a new “write a review” button is included on all entries in Google Places. This new feature along with existing reviews left by other users is designed to help Google Places provide personalised recommendations to other businesses based on reviews left by you and your friends. This new feature invites its users’ to recommend local businesses they like and those they didn’t.
These reviews definitely can either help or hinder local businesses. Having a number of positive reviews will encourage other customers to come visit that particular business while negative reviews will encourage customers to avoid them. These reviews can have a very serious impact on any business either way. This will determine a company’s reputation which can either be good or bad.
It is very important to keep an eye on these reviews to see if there is a positive or negative trend. When a customer leaves a positive review, always make sure to thank them for that. If they leave a negative review you may want to apologize to them for the negative experience. It will also be vital to work with them and focus on managing your businesses reputation and engage with your customers to avoid any more negative feedback.