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Hi All!

I wanted to get your advice on how you are directing users to leave reviews on (what's now) your Google Maps listing. Before the update, we used the G+ icon on the site to direct clients/patients to the classic G+ Local page view, to then leave a review. Now after the update, we need to do a major overhaul on all reviews links to ensure our client's customers are taken to the correct space to leave a review. My question is -- is it worth keeping the G+ icon and linking out to your G+ page? Or would it be more beneficial to use this icon to link out to maps, in order for users to leave a review?

Options that we are considering:

1. Update all G+ icons to link out to the maps URL instead (completely removing a visitors ability to view the G+ page)
2. Add a Maps icon and leave the G+ icon as is (directing to their G+ Page)
3. Create a Brand Page to link from the G+ icon & add or update a reviews section/page on the site

This relates a bit to a bunch of the articles discussing the death of G+. Not that I think G+ will go away, I'm just wondering if it's worth keeping, when most of the local info has been removed. To play devils advocate, I realize G+ is still a great platform for engagement opportunities and I know we probably should have updated review links a long time ago, to ensure we were prepared when something like this would happen, but unfortunately, we did not. So, just trying to get an idea of how others are going about this in our current situation.

Also -- wanted to throw in something else -- with this update, I am surprised Google still automatically creates +Pages for the GMB listings, since the idea of this was to disassociate G+ from Maps. Would it make a difference to leave those auto-created +pages alone, and just create one main G+ Brand Page, especially for multi-location businesses? (The next round of updates, I could see Google removing the auto-create feature away from GMB)
 

mborgelt

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Internally we've had to make some decisions around this as well. In the end, we decided that it was in everyone's best interest if we didn't keep people heading to a feature that we know is harder to get now and may disappear in the future. We thought it would be better to move users to the new paradigm so they can get used to interacting with our clients that way as opposed to having nepotism make them resist the new features. I feel like this is hard call to make and may be best done on a client-by-client basis.
 
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We're in the process of updating our platform in the following ways:


  • Updating Google+ icons / branding to a generic Google icon. We felt like the Google Maps icon didn't really work in all use cases. Also Google was much more future proof than Google's business listing products.
  • Updating social icons that formally pointed to Google+ page URLs to point to the https://www.google.com/maps?cid=XXXX version of URLs. So far this works great on both desktop and mobile. If Google provides businesses with a dedicated page we'll likely update these links again.
  • Updating Review Requests links to the Review box in search results. We're using Grade.us' tool to generate the links until our engineering team can build out an automated system.
  • For now we're leaving rel=publisher tags in place. We're not making any changes until we see evidence that they are hurting websites.
  • To answer your main question: our customer's (doctors & dentists) don't use the new Google+ so at this point we're not planning on linking out.

I hope that helps.

Chris Desrochers
 
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Thanks @mborgelt & @Chris!

I really appreciate the feedback. We deal mostly with dentists and doctors as well, so I appreciate your honesty and showing me the process you have taken since this update. We will take all of this into consideration and make a plan moving forward.

Thanks again! Happy Holidays! :)
 
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