As I sift through the August data for many clients and read up on what others are sharing, I am seeing one strong correlation. Remember. as Joy Hawkins so cleverly pointed out, that correlation does not always mean causation. From reading up on what Joy and other leaders have said in recent weeks about the latest update, called by many, the medic update, we see that Google is becoming even more nuanced in how they deem a site a quality site. Besides links that have always mattered, it seems that mentions, author credibility, and reviews are mattering even more. In fact, many believe that a big local search update rolled out the day before the August 1 major algorithm update. This may have been a bit of a preparation.
Reviews A Sign Of Trustworthiness
From my clients, none got hit too hard by the August update, but the few who had drops in traffic at all, were companies that had somewhat reduced the focus on reviews because they didn’t consider themselves a local business. They had only a few reviews or a few reviews without a great average score and figured it didn’t matter that much. It didn’t matter that much before, but maybe it does now. If you have a Google My Business page (GMB), even if you aren’t locally focused, you should ask and try to receive reviews. Google is getting better, though still not great, at trying to weed out the fake ones and is now looking at reviews more as a sign of trustworthiness for your whole site. Everything is relative so you should take a look at what your competitors have in terms of reviews, but at least aim for at 10 review threshold, and then, of course, you want an average over 4.0. Google is watching and looking for more signs that you are a legitimate business and they are leaning more on reviews now than ever before. Make review management a part of your business plan going forward. Even if they weren’t a search factor, you know people consider them in hiring you. Your customers make the best sales pitch for you, or against you.
If you want help with review management and SEO from a business that has an A+ with the BBB and has been doing it for over a decade, please give us a call.