| 12:03 am on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)|
You could give them https://www.google.com/search?q=example.com
But that seems like it could be interpreted almost as badly.
| 2:59 am on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)|
How about a shortened link with the target URL randomized?
| 2:49 pm on Jan 17, 2013 (gmt 0)|
There is nothing wrong with giving customers your URL so they can leave a review. I have never heard of Google penalizing a website for getting too many reviews from a direct link. After all, you want to make it as easy as possible for someone to review your site, right? My only concern would be if 25 5 star reviews popped up overnight---that looks a lot fishier to me. But as long as they are legitimate reviews you should be fine.
| 10:20 am on Jan 18, 2013 (gmt 0)|
Bill, isn't a shortened link treated the same as the expanded one by Google? I didn't understand the randomised bit since the client would have only one Google+ listing.
| 9:31 am on Jan 19, 2013 (gmt 0)|
|I would think that Google would like to have people randomly find the listings and not have a large number of them come from direct links. |
Might this be mixed to some extent with concern that Google would be suspicious of recommendations that all came from the same IP?... as, eg, a computer set up at the place of business (or a mobile device carried by, say, a plumber) to enable one-time customers to give feedback about their experience.
Justin Sanger (aka "Chicago", one of the founding moderators of this forum), discussed this in his presentation about Google+ at the last PubCon in Las Vegas. I thought it was an extremely important presentation... roughly to the effect that at some point Google might come to accept such customer reviews, particularly if Google+ were involved and the customers were no longer anonymous.
For Google to have meaningful feedback about local businesses that did not have ongoing relationships with customers, he said, some kind of modification in the customer review system was absolutely necessary.
| 4:29 am on Jan 21, 2013 (gmt 0)|
|Bill, isn't a shortened link treated the same as the expanded one by Google? I didn't understand the randomized bit since the client would have only one Google+ listing. |
That wasn't too clear was it?
My very quick idea was about generating a randomized short URL that would redirect to the same listing. So the link from the client page to the target page would be different for every page load. I was thinking that might make the referrer look different to Google if you spread it across different shorteners, but you're probably right that they can see through that. It wouldn't survive a hand-check.
| 8:58 pm on Feb 19, 2013 (gmt 0)|
I came up with another idea, have your customers go to maps.google.com type in the business phone number and when the business shows up, click on the link, click on "Write A Review" and then add a review. I think this will make it anonymous and not set off any alarms at Google.