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With Google Local, formerly known as Google Places decision makers are scrambling to understand how ORM algorithms will drastically affect SEO rankings and high Google scores. Google says Google Local is “a simple way to discover and share local information.” Sounds like business listing are becoming more social.
In other words Google Local helps people like me who could very well turn the urge to buy a car— “Hey, I want to test drive a car today” —into an afternoon outing: “Perfect, there’s a Cadillac dealer with great reviews just two blocks from here. Let’s go.” It’s integrated into Search, Maps and mobile and available as a new tab in Google+—creating one simple experience across Google.
The new system is definitely much broader than the previous star system, given its larger scale. 17 out of 30 doesn’t sound incredibly great but if you look at the scale, 16-20 represents “good to very good”. 0- 30 is pretty wide range to cover the four individual ratings Google goes by:
2 Very Good
0 Poor to Fair
Google takes the average, and multiplies it by ten to come up with averaged scores featuring Zagat scores and recommendations from people you trust in Google+.
Algorithms are incorporated into all kinds of review sites where your brand is being talked about and Google is measuring a combination of indicators across all published reviews to determine your Score and overall ranking.
Survey results released a few months ago indicate that many of the top ranking factors are directly related to reviews, your top keywords in reviews, including Google measuring what kind of feedback or responses you’re providing to the consumer feedback on review sites.
Here is how a few of them ranked, according to that (out of the top 90):
7. Quantity of Native Google Places Reviews (w/text) (REVIEWS)
18. Product/Service Keywords in Reviews (REVIEWS)
24. Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews (REVIEWS)
26. Location Keywords in Reviews (REVIEWS)
31. Velocity of Native Google Places Reviews (REVIEWS)
34. Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Places Reviewers, etc) (REVIEWS)
46. High Numerical Ratings by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Places Reviewers, etc) (REVIEWS)
49. Overall Velocity of Reviews (Native + Third-Party) (REVIEWS)
50. Quantity of Third-Party Unstructured Reviews (REVIEWS)
52. Quantity of Native Google Places Ratings (no text) (REVIEWS)
53. High Numerical Ratings of Place by Google Users (e.g. 4-5) (REVIEWS)
62. Velocity of Third-Party Reviews (REVIEWS)
69. High Numerical Third-Party Ratings (e.g. 4-5) (REVIEWS)
74. Positive Sentiment in Reviews (REVIEWS)
According to Google, reputation management means interacting, responding to, learning from, and implementing ideas and improvements based on customer feedback. The good news is that feedback is everywhere. I’d take that as a hint from Google that a higher Google score is achieved with a multi pronged approach.
Responding to reviews, creating conversation with customers, understanding the underlying issues, and devising possible solutions.
The importance of a high ranking Google score will be directly related to two different potential benefits:
Therefore, it would make sense to incorporate reputation building avenues (follow up emails, etc) for customers
to share their experience, which can help increase the dealerships online reviews and become a more credible source for both customers and search engines.
2. Conversion & Purchasing Influence. The second benefit is the relationship between top level results and the likelihood of a user clicking on your dealer name. If your dealership continuously encourages customers to leave reviews (not from the dealerships I.P) and the reviews received are showing your business in a good light, then it is likely that you will rank higher on review results. See the logical equation below for Google
Total reviews + Quality of Reviews = Better Google Ranking (simple version as there are other factors involved)
Regardless of the ranking of the list above, it does stop and make you think about all the potential factors that could go into your local ranking, and many are certainly worth paying attention to.