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Sending a url when requesting a review

   
11:41 pm on Jan 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator travelin_cat is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



We have a client that wants to offer their customers the ability to give them a review on Google+ Local, good or bad.

We were thinking about giving them a direct link to their listing but we are unsure about any negative ramifications. 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.

Any thoughts on this? Any other ideas on how to get out review requests as easily as possible?
12:03 am on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



You could give them [google.com...]

But that seems like it could be interpreted almost as badly.
2:59 am on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



How about a shortened link with the target URL randomized?
2:49 pm on Jan 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



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)

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



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)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



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)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



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)

WebmasterWorld Administrator travelin_cat is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



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.