Google Adds 3rd Party Reviews to Local Knowledge Panel

 

Yesterday Google introduced their new ‘reviews from the web’ search feature. Basically, Google scrapes ratings and reviews from third party review sites, and displays them within the local Knowledge Panel.

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What’s the difference between critic reviews and reviews from the web?

When Google first unveiled their critic reviews feature about a month ago, only a limited number of partners were included – mainly sites with reviews from critics and experts, such as 10best.com and Zagat. ‘Reviews from the web’ is designed to accompany critic reviews, by featuring consumer reviews from sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.

As far as I know, Google hasn’t provided an exhaustive list of sites they’re pulling data from, but so far I’ve seen quite a few:

  • Facebook
  • Yelp
  • Foursquare
  • com
  • com
  • com
  • OpenTable
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Healthgrades
  • ZocDoc
  • com
  • Zomato

This could make reputation management a lot more difficult

Since Google is starting to include critic reviews and reviews from third party review sites within the Knowledge Panel, reputation management becomes a little bit more challenging, at least from a search suppression perspective.

When you work with a reputation management company, typically your first line of defense is publishing new content or optimizing existing content to help suppresses the negative reviews. The reason this strategy is effective is because very few people go beyond the first page of search results, so by pushing the negative results off of page one, you’re drastically reducing the number of people that see those negative reviews.

Now that third party and critic reviews are being displayed more prominently in search results, businesses will need to work even harder to keep their online reputation in check.

How can publishers get their ratings, critiques, and reviews included in Knowledge Panel?

Google Product Manager, Ronnie Falcon provided some helpful tips for publishers that are interested in participating. He explained how it works for publishers here:

“Whether your site publishes editorial critic reviews, best-of places lists, or aggregates user ratings, this content can be featured in local Knowledge Panels when users are looking for places to go.”

Currently Google supports review snippets for the following categories:

  • Local businesses
  • Movies
  • Books
  • Music
  • Products

The first step is implementing Google’s review snippet markup, and making sure your site content and markup complies with their criteria for inclusion. Then publishers can register for the pilot using Critic Reviews and Review Snippets Interest Form.

 

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