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Mike Blumenthal on Onsite “Review Stations” and Google

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by ed.brooks, Dec 6, 2011.

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  1. ed.brooks

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    Mike Blumenthal is the uncontested expert of experts on Google Places. He posted this on his blog this morning: Google Places: Onsite “Review Stations” AOK with Google

    Even though he starts with...

    "Several weeks ago, I attended a Google GetYourBusiness online seminar and I was surprised to hear the speaker strongly encouraging SMBS to install a computer at their places of business to use as a station where clients, immediately upon completing a transaction, could easily leave a review on their Google Place’s page"


    he ends on not nearly as positive a note...

    "I have said it before and I will say it again, DO NOT put all of your review eggs in one basket. This should not be the only way you gather reviews and Google should not be the only site you ask for reviews on. They could easily change their mind on this policy and all of the reviews gathered this way could disappear in a puff of smoke"


    and...

    "Neither you nor I have the ability to change which way the winds blow. If at the end of the day it makes sense for your business to implement the practice, do so cautiously. Recognize that any benefit may be short lived and the reviews may go more quickly than they came. Most importantly of all, respect the customer and their needs in the transaction."


    This is a MUST READ
     
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  3. ryan.leslie

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    I just finished reading this myself and was about to comment. He makes a great argument for NOT doing something just because you CAN.

    Totally agree with you...this is a must read!
     
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  4. yagoparamo

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    Ed,

    Something to remember is that Yelp and Trip Advisor main (only!) business is to provide relevant reviews about a business or service and therefore they must be very strict on how they enforce the chanels for customers to leave them.

    Google on the other hand should be more accomodating to the biz needs specially since these show in their places pages.
     
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  5. john.quinn

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    To coerce, or not to coerce... that is the question....

    The question becomes irrelevant to Dealers who "Get It:" your ACTUAL actions and deeds are your calling cards; your advertising.

    So just make the REAL effort to do it Right, and you don't have to worry about the reviews.

    If you build it, they will come.
     
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  6. yagoparamo

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    JQ,

    I think that "what's real" and what is not has been the biggest argument of all (specially between Ryan and me). We all try to prevail with our arguments but only time will tell what consumers accept as relevant to their decision making strategy.
     
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  7. kcar

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    From what I've taken from my own research. Review stations seem to be fine; just don't do 10+ reviews a day, do one every other day, or two a day then skip two days. In one year, you'll rack up 182 reviews without going overboard or getting deleted, which is PLENTY. I've actually done a lot of testing, Google doesn't care what IP your reviews are coming from.. (They even removed the filter a few months ago). They care about how often reviews are being posted. For example: Google won't penalize you for posting 40 reviews from ONE IP over the period of 6 months, but they will if you post all of those 40 at once or within a month or two. Another thing to add is, Google looks at things like the Google Account age and activity, if you have a BRAND new Gmail/Google account and are posting reviews it's a red flag. But if you are using aged Google accounts you'll be just fine.. As well, the content from your reviews should NOT match reviews on your website or on other rating websites, if there's duplicate content Google will take note of this and remove it.

    As far as YELP goes, the biggest thing I can say is if they are posting only one review on your page and have never posted a review on other pages and are not active users, you can expect for that review to go away. Yelp has a few filter processes as well, their are a bit worse.
     
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  8. ryan.leslie

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    Kcar,

    I don't want to be guilty of putting words in your mouth. This "testing" you are doing, are you loading reviews to your own place page?

    Ryan
     
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  9. kcar

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    [​IMG]

    No. Not on any place page related to any dealership or any of my real accounts. Doing this on a unrelated test place page with an "example" business for a 14 month period... Everything has worked out so far, removed the place page awhile ago as well after finishing the study.
     
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  10. ryan.leslie

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    Sounds like an interesting study that has absolutely nothing to do with creating happy customers that want to leave you feedback and care enough to help you improve your business. This thread was about in-store collection. Your whole post read like a "ways to game Google Places" manual complete with "use aged Google accounts and you'll be just fine." Don't mean to offend, but it shouldn't have taken you 14 months to figure out they aren't filtering anything.

    You should take a minute to read, or reread, the link Ed posted kcar. They were opposing in-store collection because it represented a potential for ethical issues you seem to be considering. Again, they were trying to put safeguards in place to prevent a hint or possibility of what you were "testing." I hope you'll rethink this plan before it hurts your business, because one way or the other it will.
     
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  11. kcar

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    ? What are you talking about, this is a topic for Google Reviews NOT Dealerrater.. I just posted a TON of hard to find information on how dealers can post reviews from a in-store computer.. (And the ways to make sure you don't get those reviews deleted). Do you realize Google changes their filters and back-end processes all the time? Why would any dealer collect reviews for over a year then be okay with losing them? You do long term studies to make sure your results stick and are worth the effort.

    It's PERFECTLY fine for a REAL customer to post a REAL review in store. Again this is not Dealerrater, and I know your team will complain about it being wrong, unethical, etc etc.. Because that's your business, no offense. Customers are posting them at home anyways, not different then them posting them in the store. Dealers doing this are fine, it's time they moved away from Dealerrater anyways, that place is just cashing in on dealers and forcing them to keep their reputation in line. You don't see Yelp, Google, AOL, etc etc doing that.. However, will Dealers abuse this system? Maybe, maybe not, but any motivated dealer could abuse every site out there without enough proxies and e-mail accounts, etc the way it is right now..

    It's not going to change anything, anyways the dealers who do abuse it are going to lose their reviews. Like I said before, if they are greedy enough to post so many on the same IP they WILL lose the reviews. It's all about spreading it out over time and places. Also Google will know if some dealer is making 200+ new accounts on the same IP and never having them active after a review is made. Thus the IP will get a big red flag. So it's a safe measure against abuse..

    Also: Theirs no difference in customer happiness.. Customer is happy with purchase they post about it in the store. Customer is happy with purchase they post at home. Customer is happy either way..
     
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