Welcome to the DealerRefresh Dealer Forums!

Join Us- the first original online community for dealers and like minded professionals in the automotive industry. Exchange ideas, best practices, converse with some of the brightest individuals in the business. After or before you register, please take a moment read the Rules and Directions

  1. Stop being a LURKER - join our dealer community and get involved. Sign up and start a conversation.

Google Places Removes Third Party Reviews from Search Results

Discussion in 'Online Dealership Marketing Best Practices' started by kevinfrye, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. kevinfrye

    kevinfrye Jr. Refresher

    First Name:
    Kevin
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Jeff Wyler Automotive Family
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Posts
    225
    Likes Received:
    115
    This morning we showed almost 900 reviews for our Jeff Wyler Eastgate Auto Mall location when you did a search and saw their Google Places listing come up in the search results. This afternoon, it only shows 36 reviews in the SERP results. Why? Google has made a change to only show Google reviews in their SERP results, and not show third party reviews. This is incredibly disappointing as we had lots of reviews at DealerRater, JudysBook, Yahoo, Edmunds, Angies List, Merchant Circle, and many more sites. Between this change and the introduction of Google +1, Google is really flexing its muscles with its dominance in the search engine market, and forcing our hands to use their tools and play their way if you want to benefit...
  2. Eley Duke

    Eley Duke Sr. Refresher

    First Name:
    Eley
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Duke Automotive
    Twitter Handle:
    eleyduke
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Posts
    445
    Likes Received:
    232
    Location:
    Virginia
    So what now, do we abandon Dealer Rater and other third party sites and focus on Google Places reviews only. I am sure that is not the answer, as Dealer Rater will still help with SEO I am sure. I worked hard the last 2 months getting reviews and starting a good review policy in our store asking the customers to review us at Dealer Rater, trying to get my Google Places page optimized with Dealer Rater, yp.com, and others and it was just starting to click. And the list goes on with reputation management all because I hear “you better have your Google Places page optimized with 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] party reviews to rank high in organic search and be relevant to Google”. Now WTF!
  3. Matt DoCampo

    Matt DoCampo Refresher

    First Name:
    Matt
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Large Auto Group
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Posts
    113
    Likes Received:
    5
    Our 3rd Party reviews are still showing on our Places page, however they do not count towards the review count and the star rating.
  4. kevinfrye

    kevinfrye Jr. Refresher

    First Name:
    Kevin
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Jeff Wyler Automotive Family
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Posts
    225
    Likes Received:
    115
    I am trying to look at this from the consumers' perspective. If Google is trying to deliver the most relevant result to a consumer, why would they not want to show ALL reviews attached to a dealer, including DealerRater, Edmunds, Yelp, Merchant Circle, Judys Book, Angies List, etc? I believe that Google is upset about being passed up in traffic by Facebook, and they are exercising their muscle with the launch of Google +1, Google Plus, and changing the search engine results to only show Google reviews with the Google Places results (as well as build up demand for their Google Boost). Google's message is "Do it our way, with our tools, and with our processes!". Of course we will adapt, but this is a move made in Google's best business interests, NOT in the best interest of the consumer who wants the best result...
  5. DrewAment

    DrewAment Jr. Refresher

    First Name:
    Drew
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Press1toTalk
    Twitter Handle:
    DrewAment
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Posts
    258
    Likes Received:
    68
    I just checked about half a dozen dealers..and concur. What a rip for the dealers that have focused on non-Google review sites.
  6. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

    First Name:
    Jeff
    Dealer or Company Name:
    DealerRefresh
    Twitter Handle:
    dealerrefresh
    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Posts
    2,469
    Likes Received:
    509
    Location:
    Maryland
    Just checked our dealerships Google Places pages and YUP. All 3rd Party Reviews are GONE!

    This truly sucks!!

    I see they made a few changes to the Places Page to go after the reviews. Just got off the phone with Brice over at AutoRevenue / Dominion and they are seeing this has only currently affected about 40% of dealerships.

    2011-07-21_1730.jpg


    Think about this...Google sees and knows that small business on average are focusing on one or maybe two review sites. Most dealerships focus on DealerRater. Google knows this and I bet they also know that in order to get exclusive reviews on Google places page, they will need to cut the other reviews sites off at the knees.


    What are your thoughts?
  7. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

    First Name:
    Jeff
    Dealer or Company Name:
    DealerRefresh
    Twitter Handle:
    dealerrefresh
    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Posts
    2,469
    Likes Received:
    509
    Location:
    Maryland
  8. Eley Duke

    Eley Duke Sr. Refresher

    First Name:
    Eley
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Duke Automotive
    Twitter Handle:
    eleyduke
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Posts
    445
    Likes Received:
    232
    Location:
    Virginia
    Jeff, maybe I am reading into it too much, but are you thinking that Google has cut everyone off to dump certain review sites, perhaps those that are less popular/credible, and could bring back only certain 3rd party sites that it might see as the most credible?
  9. danoneil

    danoneil Sr. Refresher

    First Name:
    Dan
    Dealer or Company Name:
    National Motors
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Posts
    559
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    National Motors in Baltimore
    Our reviews have been removed as well. However it's not going to stop us from getting customer reviews on dealerrater.
  10. Jerry Thibeau

    Jerry Thibeau Sr. Refresher

    First Name:
    Jerry
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Phone Ninjas
    Twitter Handle:
    thephoneninja
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Posts
    1,130
    Likes Received:
    322
    I'd like to hear a comment from the folks at Dealer Rater. Wonder what they are thinking and up to?
  11. mjwestberg

    mjwestberg Noob

    First Name:
    Matthew
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Hudson Ford
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Posts
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think this IS in the best interest for Google. I could see them asking 3rd party sites to "Certify" with Google to have their reviews posted. Google does a lot of things for the consumer for FREE. But remember, they are not for Non-Profit. Google has made money where MSN, Yahoo, Altavista, etc... failed because they didn't have a profitable business model. This is a very shrewd move for Google. For now, we will just have to readjust. Our dealership has concentrated on Dealerrater.com (too much if you want my opinion). It is a good idea to diversify. As a dealership, we can't have great reviews on dealerrater and google, but have a customer find us on Yahoo or Edmunds. I am sure there will be a vendor calling on my doorstep with a way to profit on our online reputation. Anyone want to start a business with me?
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  12. bpreston

    bpreston Getting Refreshed

    First Name:
    Bobby
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Preston Auto Group
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Posts
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm with you Jerry, I'd love hear a response from DealerRater. One of the things I liked best about it is that it killed two birds with one stone... if I'd get a review on DealerRater it pushed it to Google. Until I hear something, I am shifting our focus from reviews on DealerRater to our Google Place page.
  13. gosollc

    gosollc Noob

    First Name:
    Adam
    Dealer or Company Name:
    GOSO
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Posts
    11
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hey all, We've been tracking this closely over the past couple of weeks and have noticed that Google has been making some changes as well as having technical difficulties. We've seen cases where reviews will all disappear and come back the next day. I'm not saying this is the case this time, but I would like to see some more insight on this from Google (i.e. their blog). I personally have always seen this day coming, I felt like Google was using 3rd party review websites as means to build Google Places until they reached critical mass and then they would shift their strategy. Whether this day has come, I'm not sure. I know that companies like DealerRater.com depend on syndicating their reviews to Google so this is definitely not good for them and I hope things work out. In the mean time, my suggestion is to have a holistic approach to your brand reputation strategy and solicit customer reviews in a holistic approach so that you don't put all your eggs in one basket. Just my two senses. What are your thoughts? Take care,
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Alex Snyder

    Alex Snyder Administrator Staff Member

    First Name:
    Alex
    Dealer or Company Name:
    DealerRefresh
    Twitter Handle:
    axsnyder
    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Posts
    1,889
    Likes Received:
    370
    Location:
    Vermont
    When I read Kevin's post earlier today my first thought was that Google knows something the rest of us don't that may pertain to some new legislation. I am purely speculating, but with a lot of focus on how reviews are attained and aggregated it is very possible there is something in the DC pipeline that is forcing Google's hand....assuming this is an intentional shift on Google's part.

    I can see Congress voting to enact a law that states the resident website displaying the review has some sort of legal responsibility. If that is the case (again, I am making this statement out of pure "Alex Snyder" speculation) then we can't be mad at Google.

    If your view holds true, Adam, then Google definitely played us all.
  15. Jallen496

    Jallen496 Noob

    First Name:
    Josh
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Reynolds
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Posts
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's the smart move for google. They see an opportunity and attack! Tough break for the guys at DealerRater.

Share This Page