Saturday, March 24, 2012

Google Places Ranking Secrets 2012 - Review Content Matters

A relatively new company called has completed a study that took a scientific look at how Google Places makes ranking decision.  There were many interesting conclusions, which all in all could increase your rank in Google Places by 9 positions. 

One of the new findings for increasing your rank on Google Places was that having reviews which included the keywords and geo information was very helpful.  So, when you are asking someone to provide a review, you might also ask them to specifically include the most critical keyword or phrase and the city you care about. 

As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, the total number of reviews didn't seem to matter for ranking.  (Under 5 reviews and over 100 did have an effect.)  There is also no appreciative effect of the number of stars.  (with one exception noted elsewhere on this blog.)  However, the words used did matter if they reinforced the keywords in the category being targeted.

Therefore, one possible strategy would be to actually write the review content for the client and ask them to load it up.  I am not suggesting that you write something they don't agree to, but rather you can provide them with a better version.  You might even have them write the review, and then you edit in the specific keywords.  This will probably come off sounding the most "real."

The report did not indicate whether owner responses to reviews that included keywords also effected ranking.  But it couldn't hurt, as long as the use is not spammy.

So here is a possible perfect review for a bakery in Oklahoma City:

We had a very special design in mind for our son's 5th birthday cake.  We weren't even sure if it could be done, or at least done within our budget.  But David, the head decorator at OK Bakery right here in downtown Oklahoma City not only did the job, it came out better than expected.  David showed us how to use our basic idea with a twist that made the cake even that much more fun.  Our son loved his cake, and we will be using OK Bakery for all of our cakes.

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