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Survey Finds Reviews More Important to Local Search Than Ever

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News

Skepticism Continues to Grow As Users Become More Reliant On Local Reviews

While business reviews are becoming much more valuable to users when it comes to local search, these users are also getting smarter and displaying a increasing amount of skepticism when it comes to their authenticity. This according to a recent consumer reviews survey conducted by BrightLocal. The survey, which polled over 1,000 U.S. adults this past November, found that 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 52% of 18-54-year-olds indicating that they always read reviews. In fact, reviews have become so important that users are spending more and more time reading reviews before giving a company their business. The survey found that the average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading at least 10 reviews before they can trust a business. BrightLocal Survey results chart Source: BrightLocal

What Are Consumers Looking for In a Review?

The number of stars left for a business is one of the most important factors users consider, with only about half of the survey respondents stating that they would consider a business that had fewer than 4 stars. Consumers are also on the lookout for recent reviews and are less likely to place value in a review that has been up for longer than one month. So, how recent should your reviews be? The sweet spot according to the survey is anywhere between two weeks to one month.

The Importance of Keeping It Real

In the past year alone, consumers have demonstrated a higher awareness when it comes to fake reviews, with 46% of respondents believing that they have read multiple fake reviews in 2019. This is a 13% jump compared to the 2018 survey results. BrightLocal Survey results graph  Source: BrightLocal

Why Is This Important?

Over the last decade, online reviews for local businesses have played an increasingly significant role in consumers’ purchasing decisions. In fact, a large chunk of survey respondents agreed that both positive and negative reviews had a huge influence on where they decided to spend their money. This means that even a single poor star rating or piece of negative feedback can easily derail a consumer’s ability to trust your business. Consistently positive reviews, on the other hand, have been shown to drive almost immediate conversions, with the most common next steps being visiting the business’s website, searching for more reviews to make sure they are making the right decision, and finally, visiting the business in person. So, the takeaway here is to focus on building your organic reviews by asking customers to leave them (in an ethical way, of course) and responding to any negative reviews in a positive way.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

Google’s Spam Update Has Rolled Out

10/25/2022

Last week, Google announced the October 2022 Spam Update would be rolling out. The update began on October 19th but it took less than 48 hours to complete, Search Engine Land reports. Users didn’t expect such a quick turnaround from a spam update but here we are.

What Is The Update & How Does It Work?

Google’s October 2022 Spam Update is a new search ranking algorithm. This means its impacts will be visible in search results, however you might be impacted too. This spam update was global and affects all languages, Search Engine Land reports.

Google expected the spam update to take up to a week to rollout but it was quicker than most expected. Users can see on Google’s Search Ranking Updates page where the updated was added and listed as complete on October 21st. Google’s spam update is meant to attack harmful stolen content or malicious websites.

Read More: Google Launches October 2022 Spam Update

Here is what Google says about the October 2022 Spam Update:

“While Google’s automated systems to detect search spam are constantly operating, we occasionally make notable improvements to how they work. When we do, we refer to this as a spam update and share when they happen on our list of Google Search ranking updates. For example, SpamBrain is our AI-based spam-prevention system. From time-to-time, we improve that system to make it better at spotting spam and to help ensure it catches new types of spam.”

Previous Spam Updates

As Google mentions their AI-based spam prevention system, you might be wondering how many spam updates there have been before. And more importantly, what to do if you’re sit has been hit.

When you have a look at Google’s Search Ranking Updates page, users can see that 2021 was a big year for spam updates. The last one rolled out in November 2021 and before that there was a two part update in July.

Read More: Google Offers Insights Into How It Deals With Spam

What Do Users Think About The Update?

Now, you might be wondering what people are saying about the October 2022 Spam update and if many users have been impacted. Here’s what SEO expert Glenn Gabe says about the update and what impacts he sees.

Search Engine Land reports on what users can expect from this update’s impacts.

“Spam updates target specific guideline violations. Google did not say if this was links, content or other forms of spam, but rather just said it is spam-related in general,” says Barry Schwartz. With such a wide gap between spam updates, users could be waiting another year before Google runs one again.

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Smart Campaigns Will Be Gone For Good Soon

07/22/2022

Google began rolling out automatic updates to convert Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max – Search Engine Land reports.

For most users, the updates will finish rolling out in two months. They will receive a notification around 2 or 3 weeks before the updates take effect. They will also be notified of the specific date when the campaigns will be converted. However, some Smart Shopping campaigns, like the ones using vehicle ads, will be completed early next year.

Read More: Google Updated Performance Max Campaigns

Don’t Wait For Google

You don’t have to wait for Google to do this for you. Actually, you shouldn’t – take this into your own hands and have more control over the settings of your campaigns.

If you want to update campaigns on your own, because you’re smart, strong, and pretty – you can do that by using the ‘one click’ upgrade tool.

Whether your campaigns are automatically- or self-upgraded with the tool, all the history and learnings from your previous Smart Shopping Campaigns, along with its settings are automatically transferred over to your new Performance Max campaigns.

Read More: Google Performance Max Getting 7 New Updates

New Ad Creation Tools

Google also launched three new ad creation tools which could help drive better results, especially on YouTube:

  • Asset Storage
  • Video Ad Templates
  • Voice-over Audio

These new tools should help advertising teams out there create and collaborate on campaigns without leaving the ads platform.

Read More: Discovery Ad Users Get Four New Features

Read More: Data-driven Attribution Becomes The Default?

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