Things are never dull in the GOOP office. Just running a keyword rank report for a client – a routine activity – and what do we discover? A new way of ranking restaurants and accommodation in Google’s search results. And the change appears to be on mobile, tablet and desktop devices, which makes sense in light of Google’s responsive/mobile-friendly algorithm released on April 21.
While we can not find conclusive answers – you never can when it comes to Google’s search algorithms – the evidence is clear. From looking at multiple searches, it looks as though reviews have become a ranking factor for restaurants and accommodation. First up are Google reviews (no surprises there), followed by the likes of tripadvisor, urbanspoon and the Australian Good Food & Travel Guide, among others. What we can see is reviews are definitely popping into the search results list above organic search results, i.e. websites.
What we don’t know yet, is how Google is ranking its reviews. Those highest on the list don’t necessarily have the highest overall rating! So we’re thinking there are more factors at play. Things like how many reviews your business has had, the language your customers have used in their reviews, whether the reviews are recent or old, and whether you have claimed and verified your Google listing, which is where your Google reviews sit…
Our online marketing packages address these issues and provide advice specific to the restaurant/accommodation industries. Is your Google account verified? Have you claimed and manage your tripadvisor listing and respond appropriately as the business owner? Do you encourage reviews in your restaurant? It’s not enough to just have great food and service anymore, restaurants and accommodation need to get savvy with the online tools which now look set to dictate their visibility in Google.
If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.