Yelp and TripAdvisor are both lashing out at Google over a recent discovery that Google pushes results from Yelp and other review sites lower on the page.
To see this in action, run a quick Google search for businesses in your zip code. Paid Google ads appear at the top of the page. Next comes a Google map, then Google-rated local search results, then natural search results – then finally you’ll see results from Yelp.
Neglect either one of these factors, and you’ll drop lower in search results – maybe even disappear off the map altogether.
More than 90% of Google users never read past the first page of results – and the top spots on the first page are by far the most clicked. A lot of big, well-funded marketing machines fight fiercely for those top spots every day, with proactive SEO and reputation management.
Even worse, competitors can now appear in search results for local brands, if they’ve got the best SEO and review scores in the neighborhood – meaning a search for your business can now deliver results about your direct competitors.
Here at Digital Viscosity, we specialize in perfecting your SEO and REVERBerating your positive reviews.
Start right now with our FREE Digital Visibility Website Audit. In just seconds, our tool analyzes your website and generates a detailed report of your SEO “red flags,” like problems with description and header tags, keyword usage, code placement, social integration, and mobile-friendliness.
SEO and local search have converged.
You already know reviews are crucial to a positive reputation. A difference of just a single star has long been able to impact a business’s profitability. In fact, a 2011 study by Harvard Business School found that a one-star increase in a company’s Yelp review could boost its revenues by 5 to 9 percent.
The problem is, many people access review sites like Yelp through Google – which means Google gets final say over which businesses get ranked the highest, and which ones get hidden from search results. As Google’s review base grows, we believe Yelp’s popularity and relevance will gradually fade.
Now that Google has made sure SEO and reviews both impact search ranking, businesses that tailor their strategies to Google’s standards are getting ranked the highest. High rankings bring more customers, who leave more positive reviews, pushing the business even higher up the page – and keeping it at the top.
Meanwhile, businesses with less-than-perfect SEO or few five-star ratings get pushed lower and lower. They may even get pushed – literally – off the map, as Google actively hides them in the Maps app.
This reality is already impacting your business, whether you know it or not.
People can create Google Local reviews for your business without your approval. You may not even receive an alert. In fact, people are probably rating and reviewing your business on Google Local right now, impacting your search rankings with their opinions. Do you know what they’re saying about you?
And Google Local reviews are just the beginning.
To protect your search rankings, and your visibility on Google Maps, you need to juggle a whole list of review sites – Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, YellowPages and a host of others – while minimizing the very real damage caused by negative reviews on each of them.
At the same time, you’ve got to keep re-tweaking and fine-tuning your SEO, so your competitors don’t get ahead of you in the rankings that way.
By the way, you’ve got to juggle all these factors while keeping your day-to-day business afloat.
SEO and review management is more than a full-time job – and it’s exactly what Digital Viscosity specializes in. It’s why we recommended our FREE Digital Visibility Audit above.
The next step is to REVERberate your positive reviews into more positive reviews with our REVERB tool, which complements your SEO and pushes you even higher in search results.
We’re experts in moving the needle on reviews and on SEO.
Over the past year, we’ve proven that our unique SEO and reputation management techniques can raise a business’s Google search ranking by more than 50 percent – quite literally putting that business on the map, and at the top of Google search results.
If you’re worried about how your business has been affected by Google’s updates, or you simply don’t know whether you should be concerned or not, get started with our free review below.