Google has been on a review tear of late and many reviews are being nuked that the new filter “thinks” violates the TOS. But not all review take downs by Google are legit. And a new bug seems to be affecting Google Business Profiles: when Google pushes a Suggested edit update, the profile changes CID numbers and loses their reviews. Businesses that lose reviews need to be prepared for this eventuality and put in place a plan to recover the reviews if lost.
Reference Article: Google GBP PSA: Suggested Updates Cause Lost Reviews
Darren Shaw of Whitespark discovered a new test by Google that shows how many in market reviews a reviewer left. On the surface this would appear helpful to shoppers looking to validate the reviewer and the reviews more easily. But like all reviews it is probably a false hope as location can be spoofed. Regardless, it surfaces the fact that Google is closely tracking and using the physical relationship between the reviewer and the business. In the forums, it is apparent that Google has consistently nuked more reviews from service type businesses which don’t get reviewer visits and the further that reviewer is away, the more likely it is to be filtered.
Reference Article: Google Review Location
Part 3: Starts 20:36 - AirBnB stops buying adwords & relies on brand & SEO. Can other brands give up Adwords?
AirBnB stops buying adwords & relies on brand & SEO. Can other brands give up Adwords? Most internet companies pay lip service to brand building but continue to favor short-term performance marketing. That typically means paid-search and paid social. AirBnB offers an interesting counterpoint and case study in decreasing reliance on paid search. The company just reported its "biggest and most profitable quarter" to date. On the company's Q3 earnings call, CFO Dave Stephenson said AirBnB's focus has been "on the overall brand ... and to be less reliant on search engine marketing." He explained that 90% of of the company's traffic is "direct or organic."
Can other companies do the same? Yes but it requires a true commitment to puting the customer first and building a strong relationship based on trust and not just giving that idea lip service.
Reference Article: AirBnB: Brand Not SEM