Dec 13, 2016
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Hi folks.

What, in your view, are the relative pros and cons of steering customers towards Google Reviews vs steering them towards an independent review service such as TrustPilot, Feefo, etc.

Many thanks from London.

Tim Colling

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Sep 3, 2014
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Great question, @drongo.

To me, the answer is:
1. Go for a mix of "3rd party reviews", including Google reviews and other reviews.
2. Don't forget to also solicit "1st party" reviews - reviews given to you directly by customers. They have business value and also SEO value when used on your website correctly.

What is especially valuable with Google reviews:
1. They appear to be significant factor in SERPs rankings.
2. They appear visibly in SERPs and often that influences others to select businesses that show up in SERPs with lots of review stars and review counts.
3. Other reviews appear less visibly in SERPs and so may be less influential in getting searchers to choose your business.
4. They appear prominently in Knowledge Panels.

There may be other reasons as well.


Dec 13, 2016
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Interesting Tim, thank you.

To be honest, what I am trying to do is find a justification for paying for 3rd party review services. They cost $$$ per month and yet I struggle to find the value in them compared with simple Google Reviews.

One advantage of course is 3rd they are "cross-platform" in the sense that they can be transmitted (via Rich Snippets for example) to search engines other than Google. But that seems like a relatively minor advantage really.


Tim Colling

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Sep 3, 2014
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Ah, I see. I may not have fully understood your question, then.

I have not tried TrustPilot nor Birdeye. Both look expensive to me and Birdeye was a real problem for one of my clients, who were using Birdeye before they became one of our clients.

You could try running review request campaigns yourself using a CRM but I have tried to do that and it's more trouble than it's worth.

At my small agency, we have used two "review management" tools, ones that automate some or all of the processes for trying to request reviews:
  • grade.us
  • gatherup.com (formerly called GetFiveStars)
We have been using gatherup for the past five months and we're very satisfied with it.
Mar 15, 2016
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Hey @drongo,

Great question! Garrett here from Grade.us (Tim, thanks for the mention!)

The reality is that reviews are hard to earn. A platform like ours helps automate the review request via email and text campaign drips so it's one less marketing process for your team to manage.

The benefit of the review funnel is the ability for you to not only distribute reviews across multiple sites beyond Google (Facebook recommendations, industry specific review sites), it provides options for your customers to leave a review on the site they're comfortable with. They may have never written a google review, but they're comfortable recommending your business on Facebook.

We've written about the having a positive review listing on multiple sites via our the ROI of Reviews blog post.

With direct reviews, you can mark those up with data structured schema friendly markup and earn stars on your service/product pages on organic SERPs.

Feel free to reach out if you have any other review management questions! Always happy to help.
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