Like the colors of a chameleon, Google is an ever-changing company, and they are at it again! Recently, Google introduced the public to the new look and dynamic of its Google+ listings. This new face is quite a departure from the “Google+ classic” pages that we have become accustomed to using. Check out the screenies below to see what I mean.
Here is a local pizza company’s Google+ page in Denver. This is the Google+ classic view
Here’s this same page with the new Google+ change
There are several conspicuous changes that we noted. The first difference is that Google has removed the link to this listing’s location on Google maps. Change numero dos is that we can no longer view photos or videos that Pizza Fusion has posted. The third variance is that Google has removed their review section completely. It doesn’t appear that you can leave reviews for businesses using the new Google+ format. If you click the three dots in the upper left hand corner, you can; block this listing’s profile, mute the profile or report abuse.
If you click the little “I” icon for information next to the dots, you see the business’s contact information. You also have the ability to follow and comment on the business’s social media posts but that’s about it.
For our clients, obviously the biggest change to impact their pages is the removal of reviews and the ability to leave a review. We aren’t Google and we don’t know for sure that all pages will be converted to this new format, but judging by how Google has rolled out similar changes in the past, we would imagine that with time, all listings will be swapped into the new layout.
So now what are you supposed to do? Don’t panic! WebPunch has always advocated a reputation strategy that involved review generation on multiple websites. If you do business with us, you have reviews on Google+ but you also have reviews on other valuable directories like Yelp, Facebook and Yellowpages etc. On these directories, consumers can witness the grandeur of your reputation first hand. By not putting all your reviews in one directory site, you mitigate the damage that changes such as this can have on your business. Having a lot of citations on many different sites can also provide potent fuel for your SEO machine. With the momentum Google has demonstrated with this new initiative, our counsel would be to focus your company’s review requests on other directories with less emphasis on Google+. Our software and team can quickly make this change for you.
Technology is an ever-changing entity and WebPunch is nimble and prepared to optimize our customer’s reputations no matter what Google throws at us. Our team will continue to monitor and keep you abreast on pertinent news regarding these important changes. Please contact us so that we can discuss the best plan for your company moving forward.
11.21.2015- WebPunch update and clarification
Right now reviews will continue to show and be asked for on Google Maps, Google Search and Google+ if the user has not upgraded to the beta. Regardless of these changes, reviews will continue to play a major role in search and overall review strategy; we just don't know how they will manifest themselves on the Google+ upgrade. We suggest putting emphasis on other review sites to make sure you are covered. Happy review gathering and keep calm and carry on!