If you are reading this, then I am going to assume that you have started down the rabbit hole of learning about all things Google and Google Reviews. 

You may be a business owner that is looking to get found on Google or maybe you would like to improve your Google Reviews Ranking score. You may even use Google Reviews yourself when you are searching or “Googling” a business that you are planning on visiting or using. 

Have you ever noticed that Google doesn’t show the Google reviews in chronological order by default? 

When it comes to the way Google Reviews are displayed, Google prefers the “Most Relevant” setting which makes sense when you think about it, Google is always trying to tailor its search experience to you and what you are searching for. 

So it might be interesting to know what Google is deciding is most relevant.

To discover Google’s relevance metrics, an agency did a quick study of 500 Google reviews in the nursing home and rehabilitation category. 

Here are the top 6 factors that make a review more relevant:

  1. Review Length The number of words in a review had a clear impact on how relevant it was considered and its position in the review ladder. The more words a review had the higher it appeared. 
  2. Keywords UsedUsing the name of the business in the review led to an increase in the post’s relevancy ranking, as well as keywords that aligned with the business’s website. 
  3. Detailed  – A review that contained a specific story or example was more likely to rank higher than reviews with generic content. Especially if the review had a detailed account of what the experience was like. 
  4. LocalReviews left by users who posted other reviews in the local area were also deemed more relevant than a user with either no reviews. 
  5. TimeOn Google, recency is vitally important, so the more time that passes since a review is posted, the less relevant it becomes.
  6. Photos – Relevant reviews with photos are often seen further up the list than those with just text in them. 

So the key to having your review portfolio looking impressive when someone comes across your Google My Business listing is to aim to up-level the quality of the reviews you are receiving. 

So encourage your clients to leave you detailed reviews about the experience with you, with 2 keywords, your business name, and a photo

The factors that seemed to carry little weighting and impact on the relevance of the Google review order were:Relevance of Google Reviews

  1. Votes/LikesUnless a review went viral with over 20 + votes/shares on the post, it won’t help the order to get likes.
  2. Response from the ownerWhile Google does value business listings, they respond to Google reviews in a timely manner.  Having a response from the owner did not substantially affect the post’s ranking in the Most Relevant list.
  3. NegativeDespite what many business owners might think, Google does not rank negative reviews higher than positive ones. In all the tests, positive reviews meeting the criteria outlined above are just as likely to be considered relevant as their negative review counterparts.

The first impression you give a prospective client is important. Clients on average will read the first 4 or 5 reviews that appear. They may not always re-order the reviews to show the most recent reviews first, or try and search for your better reviews. 

Google reviews can give businesses a big credibility boost without having to spend thousands of dollars a month on digital marketing companies or ads. The many benefits of getting Google reviews include Google ranking for local SEO, increasing your online reputation, and increased lead generation.  

So are you convinced to start focusing on earning more Google Reviews? If so, you probably want to get started as quickly as possible. You may even be tempted to buy online reviews just to get an immediate boost.

But before you decide on your next course of action, remember that the best businesses have real reviews they’ve earned from the experience that they provide. Further, if Google discovers you have paid for reviews they are able to delete your account.

Next Steps

Ready to create your own memorable experiences while boosting your online reputation? When you work with 5 Star Google Reviews, not only will your clients and customers remember you, your name will be one that is never forgotten.

Ready to take your business to the next level? Sign up to a discovery call, take the Get Sales from Google Score, or join our Facebook group.