“I did it!” my mind yelped as I basked in the glow of Google’s digital fireworks exploding on my mac, parading me as a great adventurer and popular man about town.
“3,000 views! That’s a lot of eyeballs on my contributions,” I continue, still in awe of my generosity. The next day I get another email from Google. Some other guy’s had 4,000,000 views, and another 17.5 million! My shoulders sag for a second. But wait! At the bottom of the email there is a call to action:
Yes! That’s just what I’ll do. Click and start reviewing. . . yikes. Soon I’ll have to travel more just to find more places to review. All in day’s (lifetime’s?) work.
In this day and age where Yelp is laying the smack down on businesses soliciting reviews, Google is pushing, pushing its users to review businesses.
Before working for WebPunch, I was never big on reviews (don’t worry I’m in a tiny minority of weirdos that don’t exactly fit into the economic models). Since learning about them and understanding how important they are for businesses and consumers, I’ve started reviewing more and more. And it’s kind of addicting, especially when Google is so good at pumping up your ego.
And along the way they get people reviewing more with call to action (CTA) buttons at the bottom of a user’s metrics, asking them to review the next in line. On a Google Maps app, when a user reviews a business, a button on the bottom comes up giving them the option to “Contribute More.”
And thanks to the never- ending supply of personal information Google and the other tech giants have due to GPS tracking and so on, Google has an endless list of places the user has visited stored and ready to be reviewed.
It’s a vicious cycle, one that is greatly beneficial for businesses because it makes it easier for customers to review them.
Reviewers are also provided stats about their activity on their phone and computer. Click on an icon and they can find out what level of reviewer they are and they can even get badges.
Novice Reviewer, Photographer, Trailblazer, and Fact Finder are the other badges reviewers can collect by completing certain tasks.
“As you help other people, you earn points for each contribution & get closer to the next level,” Google coaxes me.
In pure Google fashion, as they like to add little celebratory features here and there, the latest of the badges is “Where’s Waldo,” a game launched on April Fool’s Day that will go through the week. It has users chasing a Waldo cartoon around the world on Google Maps (no, you got it. The Where’s Waldo, Waldo. He’s back!).
Right now I’m looking for him in Pyeongchang Stadium, South Korea and let me tell you, it’s a mess!
Back to Google stroking my ego, however, there’s even some friendly competition. Google sent me an innocent email with the subject line “Google Local Guides” to advertise their #LetsGuide campaign that highlights the wonderful things local guides do and why they contribute to Google Maps. I say innocent because they flashed by me about three different guides, each with millions of views. Just before I’d gotten an email praising my piddly 3,000 views . . . it’s on Local Guide SamSing 4320!
This is all good news for businesses. It shows Google’s steadfast effort to promoting online reviews and getting the customer hooked on reviewing the businesses they patronize. It gets them posting reviews and encouraging them to be lengthy, useful, and adding photographs, all tings that help a business and their Google search rankings.
Your business may come up in a list of many, but looking at the bigger picture, this programming is increasing awareness about online reviews in general and giving the whole act a big boost. In other words, it’s good news for the online reputation industry in general.
Now, I’m back to reviewing until I get . . . 1 million reviews! I'd better get quite the parade and fireworks show when I hit those numbers. Then I’m finding Waldo.
Matthew Van Deventer is a content creator for WebPunch. As a dealer of words he dabbles in journalism and loves a good story, whatever the medium. Matthew lives outside of Denver, CO with his wife, daughter, and pup, Chewy.