On November 17, 2015 Google introduced the new Google+ design on their blog. We can see a significant simplification of the overall page design. It’s a clear sign that Google is increasingly more focused on user browsing with mobile devices. The biggest change for the SEO world however, is probably the removal of reviews from Google+ pages. As you can see in the screenshot below, Google reviews are no longer accessible from a local Google+ Page, not even the “Write a Review” button!The focus of this article is how to direct your customers to easily leave a review? “Which link do I have to share to simplify the review process as much as possible?” It used to be really straightforward: all you had to do was add ?review=1 at the end of your local Google+ Page URL and the review box would open automatically:
Unfortunately, the review parameter no longer works with the new design, therefore, all the links have to be updated. Thanks a lot, Google.
If you search for the name of your business in Google, a knowledge graph sidebar panel should appear in the right column of the search results.
Depending on the brand, some or all of the following elements may appear:
Once the search is performed and the knowledge graph appeared, we are looking for the “Write a review” button.
When you click on the “Write a review” button, the review box pops up and the URL is changed. Google adds the LRD identifier number of your Google+ profile into the URL.
That seems to be a perfect link to send to your client or put on your website, right? Don’t celebrate just yet! This link works perfectly as long as the user is logged in. Unfortunately, if the user is not logged into a Google account or doesn’t have a Google+ profile, the link will not work. However, there is a way to create a link that works for all users. Just replace the “2” with “1” at the end of the URL.
This URL points to a box with all the Google user reviews, where you will find a clearly visibly blue “Write a review” button. Furthermore, the reviews appear regardless whether users are logged in or not. That said, a user will still have to login to Google in order to leave an actual review. If the user is not logged in, a new window will open after clicking on the button, therefore, the browser never reloads this page. This solution works on desktop as well as mobile devices. This will even work if your business doesn’t have any reviews yet.
The impact of reviews as a ranking factor for local searches may change in the future. Regardless of this recent change, we still expect that positive reviews will remain a huge ranking factor for local visibility.
Here is a short and sweet email template that you can copy/paste, and send to your clients to get more reviews, which means more visibility for you. Just remember to insert your own review link and information before sending! Dear <Customer Name>, I hope this email finds you well! We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for putting your trust in <Your Company Name>. We greatly value your opinion and would like to ask you to leave us a short review, so that we may continuously improve our services. Please click this link <Insert Link>, it will only take a minute and would mean the world to us! Your feedback is truly appreciated. Best Regards, <Your Name>