The tides of search algorithms are constantly changing, and marketers are beginning to notice how this is affecting review directories. We saw some turbulence in the past with several review directories’ presence declining on page 1 of Google. But even with these changes, it isn’t time to loosen the leash on your listings. We still see local data claiming on multiple reviews directories as an essential component of review management.
Google is definitely gaining ground on the local reviews game. Business Insider reported that traffic for the top 30 directories declined 35% in the past 28 months. But there has been speculation on Google manipulating rankings to put competitors at a disadvantage, which is exactly why claiming on these directories shouldn’t be discounted by brands off the bat. The reality is that for those customers may feel loyalty towards particular communities and reviews on lower-ranking directories, which will ultimately affect their purchasing decisions.
The benefits of claiming on multiple local business listings:
Yelp- While Google’s newest algorithm changes certainly indicate a tense relationship between these two review directories. At this point, the rankings that Google reviews are making above Yelp are less relevant. With over 70 million reviews of different local businesses and services across industries, Yelp still has a reach over consumer opinion with its reviews.
Foursquare- All eyes have been on Foursquare for the past year. As the app makes its changes to become a more personalized, tip-driven directory for local searchers, it has started working with Twitter to boost location-based features. These review-like Tweets could still have a strong impact on your brand’s local presence since Tweets now rank in Google results. In fact Google is indexing 466% more Tweets according to Search Engine Land.
Facebook- It’s a known fact that customers trust each others’ opinions the most. Facebook’s newest brand-oriented feature, Place Tips, combs through the knowledge graph to provide users with reviews of local places. While these results may not directly rank on Google, they still give users an opportunity to get closer to your claimed listings and could close the gap between your in-store and online experience.
The fact of the matter is that search engine results on Google have always and will always continue to shift. But it’s not time to throw in the towel on your listings because while search engines take up a strong share of customer influence. Review directories are just as capable of bringing in your local brand advocates. Being able to claim listings for locations across will undoubtedly boost your local search visibility and ultimately attract customers from a variety of sources.
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