Google Starts Displaying First Party Reviews In Search Review FeedsJanuary 8, 2018
Known for constantly swapping out their search algorithms, Google has done it again. Although they’ve long embedded Google reviews into the Google search algorithm, they’ve now stepped up their game and have begun sharing first party review feeds on Google searches, as well. This change was noted as 2017 came to an end; a sure-fire way to enter 2018 with a bang. First party reviews are unlike those that are shown for sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, as they are derived directly from the website of a specific business.
If you aren’t currently collecting first party reviews of your own, this test that Google is initiating should be motivation to ramp up a review collection process for your business. First party reviews generally come from verified customers of your business, and in the case of Google streaming first party reviews — the hotel industry.
Not only is it a great idea to collect your own reviews through your website because they’ll be showcased on a Google search, but first party reviews also are the sole form of reviews that directly impacts organic search. In Google’s SEO (search engine optimization) Markup Guideline, it clearly states that only reviews derived from a first-party source can be marked up for SEO. With this change made by Google, reviews made on various hotel websites around the world can now be seen on a simple google search of a specific hotel location.
What this means for the hospitality industry is greater click-through rates for those hotels who are actively seeking out reviews on their websites from previous and returning customers. As a business owner, the value of collecting your own reviews reaches outside the realm of Google, too. While it’s great to be found on a Google search and to let your verified customers speak their minds in such a public way, it’s good for your business, too.
By collecting first party reviews, you’re setting a precedence for your business right out of the gate that you’re setting a certain expectation and standard for your business and it’s employees. By sending out requests for reviews by means of landing pages, something ReviewPush can create for you to better manage your online reputation, you’re letting your guests know that you take their experience seriously, and that you truly value their honest feedback. By sending these requests out to verified customers, you’re setting yourself up to either get valuable feedback to utilize for improvement, or a gleaming positive review that will shine as bright as the north star both on your site and a Google search.
It’s crucial to note that Google is currently only tampering with the search results of hotels at the moment. However, it is fully expected that this action will spread outward into other verticals such as restaurants and apartments, amongst various other industries, as well.