Google made a change in policy last week with regard to how it aggregated reviews on Google Places pages. The change is a big one: Google no longer aggregates reviews from 3rd party sites into their Places pages.
Google has come under fire from some review sites who claim Google is stealing their content by displaying their own reviews on Google’s Places pages. It appears The Goog has conceded this past week with their decision to remove reviews from sites like Yelp, CitySearch, Angie’s List, Demandforce, or Vitals on their Places pages. They’ve also taken it a step further by not aggregating reviews from these sites into the total number of reviews that it uses to assign stars to your Places page and associated Google Maps information.
We’ve been telling you for the past couple years that Google doesn’t have special relationships with other companies, and that anyone who tells you they have a partnership with Google is lying to you to take your money. (If you don’t believe us, ask China…) This is yet another prime example of the fact Google is beholden to no one and that there are no guarantees with how they display information.
All is not lost though, as there is one manner in which Google does still display star-ratings from other websites – in the organic search results. If your profile on 3rd party website (like DoctorBase) has verified reviews that Google indexes, your star-ratings are still being included in your organic search results. Fortunately, since there’s no content-ownership issue with these search results, it stands to reason that these stars will be around for a while.
Want your stars on Google? Claim your free DoctorBase profile now to make sure Google will still display your star-ratings to prospective patients at: