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Using Reviews to Enhance Your Online Presence A few weeks ago we announced Google’s transformation of Google Places. Along with that announcement came the partnership of Zagat and the decision to use their ranking system for local search. What does this mean to the small business owner? It means reviews are considered one of the biggest factors in ranking local businesses in Google Plus Local. In fact it’s considered to be the 7th most important factor to local business rankings by a panel of local search experts. Online user reviews are increasingly becoming the de facto standard for measuring the quality of local businesses online. Having positive reviews in turn gives Google more confidence to recommend a local business in their search results. Google is in fact extracting what reviewers say about local businesses and showing sentiment right on Google Plus Local pages.

Sentiment analysis moved Google to file for a patent coined Domain-specific Sentiment Classification back in May of 2009. Without going into the gory detail the premise of the patent is how natural language processing and in particular automated sentiment classification of documents are tracked and used. Since sentiment is a large part of how Google interprets reviews one would surmise that it has a role in search rankings. And it does. Being directly involved in client rankings we see how reviews play out. We in turn strongly encourage our clients to take action and get reviews from their customers whenever possible more importantly positive ones. As previously mentioned we have one client in particular Garmo & Kiste PLC Attorneys at Law that has taken massive action in obtaining reviews from their clients and are now reaping the rewards with extremely strong rankings in Google and achieving a 30/30 Zagat ranking. For anybody looking for an attorney online the combination of 40 reviews and the highest possible ranking will produce good results and entice strong click-through rates. Essentially you only want positive reviews to show up on 3rd party sites such as Google Yelp and others. However negative reviews managed internally can also be a very good tool for continuous improvement. There’s a delicate balance that must take place; using positive reviews to better your position online and negative feedback to shore up weakness internally.

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Reputation Management was born from the advent of online reviews and will become huge in 2012. The bottom line is simple. If you are the least bit interested in obtaining strong rankings a review management system should be in your plans. Don’t wait until your negative reviews out number your positive ones and begin to have an adverse effect of your online presence. Act today and begin to manage the inevitable – online reviews!

Using Reviews to Enhance Your Online Presence

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Using Reviews to Enhance Your Online Presence  

A few weeks ago we announced Google’s transformation of Google Places. Along with that announcement came the partnership of Zagat and the de...

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