More threads by kperrin

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I have a client in the La Jolla/San Diego area that is suffering from significant keyword rankings decline.

I reviewed a cohort of my client’s competitors that are ranking higher to see if there was anything that stood out to me. One of the most glaring differences was the review count.

My client has a review count of 439 (4.9 rating) which is significantly higher than any of their competitors. Historically, a review count and rating of this quantity and quality would be a huge positive but now I am questioning this. My suspicion is that Google is using the difference in review count and viewing my client as an “outlier” when compared to their competition. My gut tells me this is not the issue (I mean, how can it be?) but my client is suffering, and I cannot leave any stone unturned.

I know too many reviews coming in a short period of time can look spammy and potentially lead to a negative impact but, from what I can tell, all of my client's reviews have come through an organic pace and are all legitimate reviews.

Have you ever heard of or seen a business experiencing a negative ranking impact due to a high review count as compared to their direct/local competitors?

I would greatly appreciate any insights you could provide.
 

keyserholiday

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Review count does not equal higher rankings. There is a slight boost with reviews, but it's capped at a low number of reviews. It could be 5, 10. 12 or 20 reviews that give the business a ranking boost, but after that, there is no ranking boost. Google doesn't penalize rankings because too many reviews come in in a short period of time.
 

seosemsocial

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Review count does not equal higher rankings. There is a slight boost with reviews, but it's capped at a low number of reviews. It could be 5, 10. 12 or 20 reviews that give the business a ranking boost, but after that, there is no ranking boost. Google doesn't penalize rankings because too many reviews come in in a short period of time.

Exactly.
 

JeffClevelandTN

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Hi @kperrin, would you please clarify if your client is experiencing a decline in Local Pack ranking or Organic/SERP rankings, or both? In regards to the impact of reviews, there are numerous factors that Google takes into account when analyzing reviews. I'd highly suggest reading this Yoast article: Ranking your local business part 6: The impact of reviews. We've seen with our clients, especially newer clients that have competitors with significantly more reviews, they often outrank those competitors (especially on Local Pack) in a relatively short time period if they focus on getting a consistent and steady stream of reviews that outpaces those of their competitors, often referred to as "velocity". So, if your client has significantly more reviews than their competitors but the quantity (and quality) of new reviews over the past several months is not keeping up with their competition, that could be impactful. As already mentioned by @keyserholiday, quantity by itself is not a significant direct factor but can indirectly impact customer trust and engagement.
 

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