Google Favourite Places and User Reviews

Google…. these guys never stop coming up with new stuff. Now, they have something new called Google Favourite Places.  In fact, this could have a really big impact on business as it places easy to reach user reviews at the door step of every business.

It ties together being in a physical location, smart mobile phones and user reviews.  Naturally, it loops into Google Maps and Local Business Centre as well with a liberal does on general net-connectivity in your pocket.

The video does a pretty good job of explaining.  You’ll apply for a placard through Google Local Business Centre.  The placard will have a barcode and manual code to make it fast and simple for the smart phone to bring up your reviews.  You will (hopefully) read favourable things about the business and want to enter.

One could also assume that Coupons that can be added to your Local Business Listing would also be accessible.  Therefore, someone standing on a corn with 4 restaurants would not only be able to see reviews, menus, pricing – they would also be able to access a coupon that would offer them special advantages such as discounts or extra services.

TripAdvisor and other Reviews:

At the moment, it would appear that Google likes a few review services.  For Accommodation, they always include TripAdvisor reviews.  ATDW has also created a document called ‘Tutorial 29 – Customer Reviews And TripAdvisor‘. So, more than ever – we need to start following what people are saying about us.  It’s not always easy and it’s not always fair, but like it or not User Reviews will begin to affect your business.

How will Google Favourite Places affect Australian Accommodation?

Clearly Google is not moving as fast locally here in Australia as they are in California.  Do we have the smart phones and connectivity to do all that – I would say yes.  The number of Smart Phone users will only increase (dramatically).

Still, we need to get the Placards and we might find that Google does not issue them outside of select regions.

Are you safe from bad reviews if you don’t display a placard???  Of course not.  Anyone can make reviews now.  Anyone can find these reviews now.  The placard just makes it easy and by logically assumption the confidence to display a placard must also mean the business is confident that their customers are getting good value.

Hmmm…. Good Service is important.

About Mark

Founder of Web Reservation Systems, focused on helping businesses in the Australian Accommodation travel sector get more value from Internet Marketing. Originally, we opened up in 2001 as a supplier of Front Office Software linked to Online Booking facilities. That allowed motels and hotels to add booking buttons to their websites as well as sell through Global Distribution Systems. You could say this was an early 'Channel Manager' because it allowed the property manager to simply control price and availability for a diverse array of wholesale and retails websites. Next, we started building websites to profile our customers (Australian Holiday Guide). That lead to building websites for customers as a favour. Now do about 80 websites a year using BurgundySky and Joomla. For small businesses I recommend using BurgundySky as it is very easy to start and manage. Joomla is also great, but harder to install and maintain for a small business. Our web design business is based in Byron Bay, NSW. Byron Bay is a great place to live and work. I have 2 kids (15 and 17) who are both born here and my wife, Shobhan Oliver) is a successful artist.
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