In a post from Bloomenthals we see how Google is trying to make reviews of their Google Places businesses a little more relevant.
Several weeks ago, before, during and after the Hotspot rollout, newly created reviews from reviewers with non-public Google profiles were having their Places reviews filtered. I tested this by writing a number of reviews, over time and many places in a secondary account. All of the reviews were accepted, none were published.
Google has now implemented a new, limited review profile called a “Places Profile” that allows reviews to be shown but requires a new, quasi private profile with at least a public nickname to proceed.
If a current Google account user without a public profile attempts to write a review on a business Place Page without this new Places profile they will see this message on the Places Page and will be unable to proceed until they visit Hotspot and enter their “nickname”
This is very good news for business and users alike. Reviews are only useful if they are honest – and competitors have been known to toss in a few negative reviews to try and earn themselves some new business – at your expense.
That is not to say that this is a final solution – a determined and less-than-ethical competitor can and will find ways around this. But at least it goes to show that companies like Google understand that this is a problem, and they are working on making reviews more real and more relevant.
Steve Mitchell is an internet professional with more than sixteen years experience in the field of local search and web based systems.
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