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Google Boots Third Party Review Sites From Star Counts

Change once again is rocking the automotive digital marketing world as Google today drops the third party review counts from its yellow stars.  ONLY reviews directly posted on Google Places are showing.  This screen shot of BMW of Scherville showed all the DealerRater reviews last week in their star counts but not today.


This is what their Google Places account looked like last week:

In fact, all BMW dealers in Chicago are impacted:

In-Store Reputation Management & Google Places


I've been coaching dealers to start using the Google Places App on their iPhones and iPads to increase directly posted reviews.  The benefit?  The dealer can use Google Boost to spice up their PPC strategy. 


I also warned dealers that if Google every dropped the review "counts" from the stars from 3rd parties, they would be better protected by having a direct Google Places posting strategy.


Now keep in mind, Google is still showing the counts from third parties in brackets, but the key metric is that the yellow stars are what always show and not always do the consolidated reviews show.


A Tsunami of Change

Acton Toyota has over 1,227 reviews posted on DealerRater but they only have 10 reviews directly posted on Google Places. A few weeks ago I saw their Google listing and it showed over 1,000 reviews with their stars.  That is now history!


In fact, Google is not even showing all of their reviews from as shown below:

Dealers looking for direction on how to best adapt to these changes should start an in store reputation management process that include using 3G iPads and iPhone devices.


Dealers must set processes to identify consumers with Google accounts while they are in the dealership.  550,000 Android devices are activated a DAY and all have Google Accounts.  Google empowered consumers can post reviews directly on Google Places, with their account, from a mobile device.


I told dealers this day would come and today is that day.  If you need help with in store training, processes, and strategy on reputation management, give me a call.  I'm here to help.  We have the strategy and solutions.


Brian Pasch, CEO

PCG Digital Marketing


Views: 416

Tags: dealer, google, irm, management, places., reputation, reviews


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Comment by Kirk Sanders on July 28, 2011 at 10:43am
Sorry, I mean the comments pushed down the screen, but the Stars still bring the eyes to it.
Comment by Kirk Sanders on July 28, 2011 at 10:40am

Interesting, I would like to see how it works as the API makes no mention of it in the POST reference material.  Google also made more changes to Android yesterday that will update most of the current androids out there...

The stars seem to be getting more and more prominent they even show up on the map itself when doing a location search.  At least the wording has been pushed to the next screen, but I still see it showing up in search engine results.



Comment by David Johnson on July 28, 2011 at 7:57am
We can do it through a software provider called Relyable. It's totally legit, it used the Google Places API and works like a charm. If you want more info on it, let me know and I will email you some.
Comment by Kirk Sanders on July 28, 2011 at 12:00am
Sorry didn't mean David was doing that, just thinking about other companies doing it in bulk for multiple clients.
Comment by Kirk Sanders on July 27, 2011 at 11:58pm
Most likely utilizing the My Maps RSS feed weekness that sets up multiple clients in maps through there, but still requires account creation by minions in different locations to do it safely, which could also be automated somewhat aside from the rotating captcha-like process that has been cracked before.
Comment by Brian Pasch on July 27, 2011 at 10:17pm


Can you share how you are posting to Google Places without having a Google Login?  The Google Places App asks for an email and password, so would these reviews be coming from a "generic" account?  I would love to understand.

Comment by David Johnson on July 27, 2011 at 7:10pm
Just did Keith!
Comment by Keith Shetterly on July 27, 2011 at 5:43pm
David, pls email me details.  Thanks!
Comment by David Johnson on July 27, 2011 at 3:51pm
I have a tool that will still post to Google, show in the total review count and give a star rating. What's even better, the customer doesn't have to have a Gmail account.
Comment by Tom Gorham on July 25, 2011 at 5:49pm
I think some good advice can be found not to panic. An article I read today on Marketing Vox states, "...sites, which also include TripAdvisor and Citysearch, have complained bitterly about the process and is believed to be among the reasons why the Federal Trade Commission is investigating Google, according to the Wall Street Journal." It went on that, "To play it safe, focus on review site diversity and quality, and not so much on quantity." It was entitled, "Don't Abandon Yelp Et Al for Google Reviews." You can read the entire article here:

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