Google is losing your reviews

Posted on November 5, 2010 by

Much has been written lately about Google Places and the changes that have been made to the feature. It is surely a wise thing that car dealers pay close attention to what is happening…but something just as important is happening and not much has been written about it. In early Oct Google had some “issues” with their mighty algorithm and suddenly businesses all over America were losing reviews.  There have been instances of this failure on Google’s part on and off for probably 2 years or more, but recently it appears the volume was equal to that of somewhere between a monster swell and a small tidal wave. The jury is still out on how many reviews are gone, as many businesses don’t pay enough attention to their Places Page to notice, but those that do and have taken the time to add to the discussion are hopping mad and for good reason.

The types of businesses affected run from car dealers to chiropractors and everything in between. Those who have been actively soliciting reviews from customers, some for over a year, indicated they lost many to all reviews and that it has impacted their business tremendously. Imagine having faith in Google and obediently following the rules and guidelines and in most cases playing the game that has to be played in order to achieve prominence on page one for a search of your name and one day it all collapses. And for no good reason…and it may not come back…and Google barely even notices save for one lone post/response. What a disaster and what a shame that Google continues to appear to not really care. Here they are rolling out new enhancements to their Places Page and in the process potentially destroying many small companies source of leads in the process. My friend Ralph Paglia called this development “unholy”. I like that. I think it really captures the essence of any company that barely acknowledges that they ask others to play by a certain set of rules and asks for the trust of that company to execute these instructions and then violates them soon thereafter.

It’s clear that we have no choice but to play by their rules. It’s also clear that dealers should not put all of their eggs in one “Google basket” either. Reputation Management is managing and leveraging peer to peer discussions about your dealership. And then re-deploying that content in as many places as possible to showcase your accolades.

I am very proud of the fact that Presto Reviews has never lost a single review. And if/when Google drops the ball again and businesses lose more reviews that Presto Reviews will be firmly entrenched in thousands of places that dealerships’ customer are searching and will be delivering clicks to dealer’s sites. And I’m proud of the fact that when we started Presto it was designed as a defensive move to ensure no matter what (until Google bans us for screaming at them), that we have a solution that is equally as important as the reviews on Places Pages (that may disappear), in the form of a stable site that more often than not, is firmly entrenched on page one for a search of a dealer’s name. So even if a dealer loses all of their reviews on Google’s Places Page, they still have thousands of pages powered by Presto, uncluttered with Ad Sense and 3rd party distractions designed to steer customers away from their intended search and generate “click dollars” for the hosts, working for them 24 hours a day in the most dealer-centric format available.

Here’s to your reputation!

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