Mindquest

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First post in forever, so bare with me. :)

A client had another Local SEO firm come in and promoted this idea that I never hear about. And I don't think works.

Local business ranks well in downtown SF but as you go farther away in some case rank worse in maps which makes sense.

Their idea was that the geolocation of where a person posts the review from will help the GMB profile rank better in that location. Example ranking better in areas of a city that you don't currently because of these reviews.

Basically create more reviews in the places you want to rank better for in Google maps in a city and your maps listing would benefit from it.

Just trying to gather my resources before discussing this with the client and get any confirmations of my objections. Any input would be appreciated
 

whitespark

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Logically, I could actually see Google using this as a signal and I could see it helping. Imagine a plumber that lives in one city, but tends to do all their work in another city. The reviews would reflect that, and it would be smart of Google to pick up on it.

In reality, I don't think Google is doing this, or at least I have never heard of this being a thing. I would want to see some test results around this before I put any effort into it.

Besides, how would you go about getting reviews from the places you want to rank in? I guess you could buy fake reviews, but that would be tricky and you're risking your listing getting suspended.

If there is some magical method you have to get real legit reviews from the places you want to rank in, then you should do that, because more reviews are always a good thing, and just maybe this could help you rank in those places.

I remain skeptical. :)
 

Mindquest

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Thanks for chiming in!

I was leary to say the least as the ability to get reviews in an area you need reaks of fake reviews as the only way.

If this worked I imagine someone would have tested this and talked about it by now.
 

JoyHawkins

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I've never tested this so I can't say for sure whether it works or not. My opinion, however, is that I wouldn't expect Google to to use this as a ranking signal for all industries, if they used it at all.
 

valesence

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Logically, I could actually see Google using this as a signal and I could see it helping. Imagine a plumber that lives in one city, but tends to do all their work in another city. The reviews would reflect that, and it would be smart of Google to pick up on it.

In reality, I don't think Google is doing this, or at least I have never heard of this being a thing. I would want to see some test results around this before I put any effort into it.

Besides, how would you go about getting reviews from the places you want to rank in? I guess you could buy fake reviews, but that would be tricky and you're risking your listing getting suspended.

If there is some magical method you have to get real legit reviews from the places you want to rank in, then you should do that, because more reviews are always a good thing, and just maybe this could help you rank in those places.

I remain skeptical. :)


Getting reviews from places you don't rank isn't really magical. Offline marketing, coupon decks, coupon mailers, billboards, going door to door, networking. Lots of ways to attract customers and reviews. Even adwords could help in areas your not listed in serps.

With me personally I have always thought it was a ranking signal. I also track the reviews in my own company on Local Falcon, and they do improve in areas we get reviews. I never did a study perse, but it has appeared to work for me.
 

Mindquest

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Getting reviews from places you don't rank isn't really magical. Offline marketing, coupon decks, coupon mailers, billboards, going door to door, networking. Lots of ways to attract customers and reviews. Even adwords could help in areas your not listed in serps.

With me personally I have always thought it was a ranking signal. I also track the reviews in my own company on Local Falcon, and they do improve in areas we get reviews. I never did a study perse, but it has appeared to work for me.
I do wonder how much of it is just getting another positive review vs the location as some kind of boost.
 

Phil Rozek

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@Mindquest, what Darren said. Overall, I wouldn't suggest cherry-picking reviewers based on their location. A few considerations:

1. Depends on your definition of "where." What is the location of a reviewer? Where he/she lives? Or works? Or happens to be sitting when writing the review? If someone travels 60 miles to your office and writes a review there, is that review from a 60-mile-away reviewer? Google knows enough about people's habits to know it's tricky - that people hang out in general areas, not in one place or the other place.

2. Everyone's at least a little tribal. It's fine to encourage reviewers to say where they are from IN their reviews, but you don't want to turn off people who are in other places.

3. You'll get some variety naturally. People move, and people have nearby friends or family to whom they might recommend your client by WOM. Also, if you approach local SEO in the way I suggest and don't fixate on the Google Map, you'll have some visibility in the organic results, which means you'll ave farther-away customers and would-be reviewers.

If you just ask pretty much every customer for a review, the "location" question will take care of itself.
 
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