Recently, Google has announced that they had released its new service that might appears to be the “mother” of all review monitoring systems. The system itself, which is a new module for the updated Places for Business Dashboard, not only shows Google based reviews to dashboard owners and managers, it shows every review that Google has found from the thousands of review sites that it indexes. In addition Google is providing the review analytic reports for both the volume and rating stats of reviews from Google and across the web.
Google has also incorporated the owner review response option directly into the dashboard. They will now be showing those responses in the review panel on the front page of search results.
Some Interesting Facts Of This New Feature
- The launching is global and will be available to all new Dashboard users
- The reviews from around the web are presented in snippet form
- Yelp reviews are not included in the reviews from around the web view
- Reviews can be seen and responded to by both account owners and managers
- The ability to respond in dashboard is limited to businesses with a fully social Plus page.
- The functionality has not been added to the mobile version of the Places Dashboard for Android
- There is no ability for business owners to flag a review as inappropriate from within the dashboard. They must still visit the About page for the business to flag reviews.
- There is currently no active feedback alerting the business owners to new reviews
- There is no ability to limit whether a manager has access to provide responses or not.
- No enterprise abilities to create reports across locations
For the first time since the dashboard was created Google is providing small business owners and their managers a reason to return to the dashboard periodically. The ability to monitor reviews from both Google and around the web, easily respond to the those reviews and quickly access those on other sites are all features that leverages Google’s strengths and provides a basis for Google engaging with more businesses on a regular basis. Similar products have cost small and medium-sized businesses from $30 to $200 a month.
The release indicates that not only is Google able and committed to adding new functionality to the dashboard on an ongoing basis, it signals that they are prepared to provide significant ongoing value in doing so. The Places Dashboard has long been a once and done experience for many businesses. The analytics were the only reason for regular visits. They been less than inspiring and often didn’t function well, leaving business owners baffled and frustrated. The addition of social functionality, now provided automatically with every new claim, doesn’t occur from within the dashboard. It might increase engagement for some businesses, but not appropriate for all. Reviews are important to a much broader landscape of the market.