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Google Places have long used reviews of local businesses from third party sites as a way of centralising all or as much information about that specific business.
That was until last week when they announced they would no longer post reviews or parts of reviews from other sites about a specific business on their own Google Places site. The move is a result of a U.S. antitrust investigation into its business practices according to the Financial Times.
Many sites that rely heavily on user generated reviews such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Citysearch have long complained about the use of their reviews in Google Places. Instead of visitors using their service, they could have used the information displayed in Google which was taken from one of these sites in the first place.
Since the change, Google have changed the way they use and display reviews. They now post separate links to these reviews and do not include them into their review count for each site.
The changes have come about as a result of an antitrust hearing, one of many that Google have come so accustomed to dealing with over the years [See: Google Readying itself for a Big Hit from US Regulators].
In fact Avni Shah, Google Places Product Manager, explained in her blog post that, “Based on careful thought about the future direction of Place pages, and feedback we’ve heard over the past few months, review snippets from other web sources have now been removed from Place pages.”
Whilst this is a particularly interesting move, especially as Google are reacting to recommendations set out by the U.S. government, it isn’t all bad news for Google Places. They have been using other site’s reviews up until now to give themselves a foothold in terms reviews in their own SERP’s. During this time, they have been able to build up a healthy portion of their own reviews, especially after merging Places with their Hotpot service [See: Google Hotpot: Local search gets personal].
It’s one small move in the right direction for some, notably those strong opponents to Google’s stealing of reviews, but does this herald a sign of things to come, and will Google stay committed to fair practice and healthy competition?
The UK Search Awards is an exciting night for all; brimming with excitement, anticipation and pride, these awards showcase the very best in Digital Marketing. Our pride was overflowing as we watched our very own Sam Noble be honoured with the top prize of the night: UK Search Personality 2016.
The UK Search Awards are here and we’re pleased to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for three awards at this prestigious ceremony.
What an incredible year 2016 has been for us so far. We’ve celebrated turning 10 as a company, and in the last few months alone we’ve been nominated for a range of campaigns, won a bunch of awards and now we’ve been shortlisted for even more success.