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Google+ Local: Google Announces New Review and Recommendation Service

This article was updated on Dec. 6, 2015.

Reviews have disappeared and are not expected to return to Google+ Local business pages in the search giant’s newly introduced redesign of Google+.

There are model reviewers in almost every major online review site. They’re the ones whose ratings and reviews appear on top – or near the top – of online business pages, listings, and profiles. They’re the ones other individual users and reviewers are supposed to trust. They’re the ones that are at the center of these community-based review sites, exemplifying authenticity, energy, fairness in judgment, and also probably good grammar and spelling.

(Check out: “Close to Half of US Consumers Don’t Trust Reviews with Bad Spelling or Grammar”)

For example: Yelp has the Elite Squad of Yelpers. TripAdvisor, meanwhile, hands out multi-colored Star Badges to its best, most active contributors. Citysearch has Captains and Scouts in all its major cities who provide expert tips and local business recommendations.

Updated reviews aggregator and recommendation service Google+ Local isn’t about to be left behind. It has its own “best of the best”, described simply and plainly as Top Reviewers.

According to the search engine giant, Google+ Local Top Reviewers are reviewers whose name and content (reviews) appear to others as justifications for a recommended place. For example: if users key in a search for a great restaurant, certain results may appear because the “Google+ name (of a Top Reviewer) rated it as Excellent.” Moreover, Top Reviewers’ posts also typically appear first in the list of aggregated reviews for Google+ Local business pages.

To be a Top Reviewer on Google+ Local, one has to post online reviews regularly, with focus on both quantity and quality. There are many other factors that determine how a Google+ user can become a Top Reviewer, according to Alex Webmaster. These include: increasing the number of followers in your circle, writing accurate and highly informative reviews, and even using the check-in feature constantly on the Google+ mobile app.

(Check out: “Google+ Local Tips and Tricks for Your Business”)

According to noted local search and Web consultant Mike Blumenthal, both individual Google+ users and Google+ Local businesses can become Top Reviewers. “A business page can have as many as 50 managers,” he wrote, “so reviews would aggregate more quickly and ease the burden of any individual reviewer.” A commenter, Ted Paff of Customer Lobby, replied that this marked a great new branding opportunity for business owners or managers who – apart from monitoring online reviews – could leverage the ability to write B2B reviews of their own.

What do you think? Apart from monitoring online reviews of your business, will you spend extra time and effort to write reviews of other businesses in order to gain more cred on Google+ Local? Let us know in the comments below!

Chris Campbell

Chris is the CEO of ReviewTrackers. He has helped tens of thousands of businesses hear, manage, and respond to what their customers are saying online.