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Hi all,

Here's an idea for review diversification. This post was inspired by a comment from Joy, tweeted by Carrie Hill. "...stop regurgitating what you hear and start testing..." I haven't done the testing part but I haven't seen anyone write about this anywhere so I think it meets the "stop regurgitating" requirement. (This is where @JoyHawkins lets me know that it's in The Guide...)

There's value in understanding how I came across this idea: When I'm dealing with a new client in a new industry, and I need to find sites on which they should be collecting reviews, I look at their competitors. I search the competitor name, look at their knowledge panel and check out "Reviews from the web" to determine which review sites Google is looking at. This often reveals industry-specific and location-specific review sites.

I don't know that these review sites have an impact on rankings. However, based on the fact that Google shows them in the KP, I believe it's safe to state that Google sees those sites as being relevant to the industry and/or geography.

I noticed that if I searched <competitor name> or <competitor name>+<city> I would sometimes see different review sites in the KP. So, idea #1:

Search for <competitor name> and <competitor name>+<city> as well as <variations of competitor name> to uncover review sites that are relevant to an industry and/or geography in the KP.

Examples of variations: "Smith Law Firm" vs. "Smith Legal Firm". "Hotshot Coffee" vs. "Hotshot Cafe".

Which leads to idea #2: Search for <client name> and <client name>+<city> as well as <variations of client name> to uncover the review sites that Google sees as being relevant to your client.

Disclaimer: The company in the example below is NOT one of my clients.

Search for "Quantum Coffee" in Toronto and you'll find a strong rating of 4.5 / 5 from blogTO.
quantum-coffee.png


Note how the blogTO rating is 4.5 but the Google rating shown at the top of the KP is only 4.2.

Use a variant of their name, in this case, "Quantum Coffee Shop", and you'll find a weak Zomato rating of 3.4 / 5.
quantum coffee shop.png


If this was my client I would encourage them to work on building positive reviews on Zomato.

Untested but, I believe, logical. Thoughts? Ideas for testing?
 
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JoyHawkins

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I don't know that these review sites have an impact on rankings. However, based on the fact that Google shows them in the KP, I believe it's safe to state that Google sees those sites as being relevant to the industry and/or geography.

Yep, I would say that's a good assumption. I almost always base how "important" a directory is on how high it ranks on Google and how much referral traffic I see from it in Google Analytics.

Search for <competitor name> and <competitor name>+<city> as well as <variations of competitor name> to uncover review sites that are relevant to an industry and/or geography in the KP.

We do this for clients as well. A couple years ago Mike Blumenthal shared a really cool example at LocalU Advanced where he was able to shift the ranking of a local result on Google based on text that was in Yelp reviews. Based on his test, I'd say it was conclusive that info in 3rd party reviews impacts ranking in the local results. It couldn't hurt to test this more though.
 
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@JoyHawkins The Mike Blumenthal presentation you're describing sounds like what he presented at MozCon Local 2017. That was revelatory for me.

For those who haven't seen Mike's experiment that shows a relationship between the frequent appearance of a keyword in Yelp reviews & Google ranking, watch this: Are Words The New Links?
 

tedchan

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We can trace a lot of traffic on our end to those cards. Providers where we're one of the featured sites have a lot more profile views (and click throughs to website or call).
 
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