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    Are Reviews Getting Even More Important?


    It is quite obvious that Google is beginning to put more importance on the use of reviews. It is all about trying to narrow that gap between the social web and ecommerce, where sales themselves are becoming more and more social in themselves. Just look at the regularity of community selling on sites like Amazon. [...]Author information


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    Statistically reviews can increase your conversions 20%, I think you need to be careful with your reviews being too spammy too. From my own experience this can hurt your website more than help it.
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    A Google Plus account is really powerful for this. If you review a local business that you have visited, the local listing gives you a link to your Google Plus profile.

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    Can someone share any evidence of ratings have gained importace. Say if I have a website where I sell some software and I have good ratings on my listing on third party download sites like softonic, cnet, filehippo, etc.. Would these ratings help increase revenue of my website?
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    I can say that if I see a product has higher ratings on a site like filehippo, I will try it before the lower ranking ones. For evidence you would most likely need to contact one of those companies. I am sure they have stats on downloads and could answer that question.
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    They are getting even more important when it comes to presenting your site to users. It is pretty obvious that a site that has lots of positive reviews gets more attention from other users. It also leads other users to recommend your site or business to other search engine users.

    However, there is a risk that reviews can be spammed. So make sure that you only take reviews from your direct customers/clients.
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    I think they would have to help from a traffic and conversion standpoint. Using myself as an example, when I'm shopping for something online, I always look for the reviews. That gets me to the site. The odds are now higher that I purchase from that site.

    I think the difficult question is whether reviews help with your ranking. Do you receive better ranking on a page simply because you have a section titled "Reviews"? Or is the better ranking due to the original, unique content provided by the reviews? I think that would probably be the greatest benefit of reviews - the free, fresh, natural, unique content.
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    In car trade, we get Testimonials from satisfied customers. Are these the same as reviews. One issue we have is that our competitors go through our Testimonials to steal our customers. If we change customer information then Testimonials don't look authentic. Is there an easy solution to this problem.
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    The first thing you need to do is differentiate between product reviews and brand reviews. Google picks them up and displays them differently, from different sources, and I expect the effects on SEO to be dramatically different.

    I don't know if brand reviews effect SERPs. They might be a factor or maybe they will be. I seriously doubt good ones would hurt. They DO show up on PPC ads and have an effect there. I don't have hard numbers but they do draw attention and convey trust.

    From what I have heard product reviews make little (positive) difference until you get at least 10 reviews for a product. After that they can help conversion. People do try to figure out what reviews are fake but in testing they stink at it. Plenty of valid reviews 'look fake'. IIRC product pages with product reviews can have the star rating show up in the SERPs. This isn't something I do so I don't know the details.

    So I think you really have to pick which one you are talking about.

    ndelia,
    Have you tried something like "review text" - Bob G. Florida.
    Then if you have someones permission you can use them as a reference for large accounts upon request.

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    • GabrielG agrees : great tips!
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    Originally Posted by realityhack
    ndelia,
    Have you tried something like "review text" - Bob G. Florida.
    Then if you have someones permission you can use them as a reference for large accounts upon request.
    Sorry I don't understand what "review text" is. I already have a Testimonials page on my website. In the past I used to list first name and last name, now for large customers I only list first name and initial of their last name. But I want to find out if these Testimonials can be seen as Reviews by Google so I may get some SEO benefit beside getting sales. Most of our customers tell us that they decided to write to us after reading our Testimonials page.
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    oh. I meant "review text' to be whatever the person wrote in their review. So it looks like that is what you are already doing.

    Google will not pick those reviews up as reviews of your brand. For that they look at review sites like reseller ratings or trust pilot.
    If they pertain to a specific product they can get picked up. IIRC there is some information in the google webmaster help about that.
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    Agree- reviews play an important part in terms of building an online reputation, which also has an effect in making a better ranking in Google. I am not sure though if higher/lower rankings can effect in SERPs but from what I am seeing, higher or lower rankings do not matter. Whether you got good or bad reviews, you can still rank on SERPs.
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    reviews will be even more important in the future, since the next step for search engines is to become totally social. Anyway, I don't believe this will create much more genuine content, because webmasters will spend months in networking than building backlinks. It's not the solution. Just my 2 cents.
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    I think that REAL reviews boost conversions and company image, and help a business succeed. I'm not sure if it's because I work in SEO, but fake reviews seem really easy to spot.

    I also think that Google places reviews have gotten a lot more picky about what they choose to display. For example, I had a client of mine create a gmail account, and submit a review. He had a google plus page, followers, etc. After he wrote the review, you could see it when logged into his profile, but not on the review page of my Google places account. Perhaps they are going through the same review change that Yelp went through, when they rejected or deleted a ton of customer reviews from company profiles.
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    This is true. Reviews somehow help increase your online reputation and can really help in sales conversion. However, it is also equally important that you only post genuine feedback and reviews. For me, it is always about quality content including reviews- which plays a very important part in getting the right market.
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