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Google reviews and Google Maps go together. An optimized Google listing can help businesses increase their visibility, gain a competitive edge, and boost their rankings on SERPs. Google looks at the quantity, quality, frequency, and recency of online reviews in order to determine how much weight they should carry in helping your business rank higher in search results. You see it every day: when you search for a local business in Google Maps or Google Search and under the name of the business is a list of what appear to be actual customer ratings with stars next to them.

Many think that those who leave Google reviews help to rank as well as attract new customers through those reviews, but let’s take a closer look at Google’s algorithms and Google reviews because Google has been known for changing its algorithm from time to time.

Google is trying to protect its brand name and Google reviews by asking Google users to be aware of those who try to cheat Google’s system. Google wants you as a Google user and business owner to do the right things by giving accurate information about your business, providing potential customers with what your business offers, ask for feedback from your customers regarding their experience with your services or products.

What Google does want is for businesses owners, SEO’s, and site owners not to use any kind of automated software that creates fake reviews, misrepresentation, or unauthorized chargebacks. Google said: “If you own or manage a local business listed on Google, we recommend that you speak with the Google My Business team about signing up for Google Reviews.” Google also says that those Google reviews can help Google rankings and Google Reviews.

What Google really wants and what Google best practices suggest is:

  1. Only ask for Google reviews from Google users who have actually used your services or products. If you want more, but not false Google reviews, check out on how to get verified Google reviews.
  2. Encourage genuine praise, honest criticism, positive sentiment, constructive feedback as well as well-conceived, legitimate opinions. “Google has guidelines to detect false reviews” – here are some examples of what you should avoid:  avoid soliciting 5-star reviews, do not offer incentives in exchange for Google product/service ratings – Google reviews.
  3. Respond to Google reviews and Google reviews as Google takes all those Google reviews as Google ranking factors (good or bad) – they said: “If you see a review that violates the guidelines, please report it so we can take appropriate action. You can also click on the reviewer’s name under any comment to contact them directly.”
  4. Try and encourage your customers and potential customers to post their Google reviews and Google product ratings about your business on their personal Google profile pages. If they have already posted one, ask them to update it or write one for you – this is an attempt not only of controlling how Google views your business but also to influence local search results. This is important even if Google reviews and Google product ratings are not Google ranking factors. Google said: “If the Google review is on a personal Google profile, we attempt to remove it when notified so it doesn’t affect your listing.”
  5. If you have an enticing Google My Business page, use all available modules to demonstrate how great your business is, showcase customer Google reviews, give customers the opportunity to express their Google feedback in terms of Google stars. Put emphasis on quality rather than quantity.

Google said: ” We understand that receiving negative feedback can be frustrating, but please remember that Google only displays verified reviews from active customers.” The more positive or well-received Google reviews you have about your business – the better chances are for your local listings to feature Google reviews. Google also said: ” Google does not filter Google My Business page content that doesn’t violate our policies.”

Best Practices suggest:

Do ask Google users for their Google review, but do not incentivize them for it Do encourage Google users to post Google product/service ratings on their Google profile pages Do use all available modules to demonstrate how great your business is, showcase customer Google things like Google reviews. Put emphasis on quality rather than quantity. As much as possible, try and get verified (real) Google reviews.

Try your best to control the message by asking your customers to update or write good Google Reviews – an attempt of controlling how Google views your business – this is important even if you don’t have Google reviews Google best practices suggest:  if Google users have posted Google review about your business on their Google profile pages, ask them to update it or write one for you.