Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Linking to external review sites can harm your business

Long-standing readers of this blog will recognise that this post is an update of an article first published in May 2013. 

We all know the feeling - you've got great reviews on TripAdvisor/AllAgents/Yelp and you (and/or your web designers) think "We'd benefit from a link/feed", but...

BEWARE! At first glance the idea of embedding a link or taking a feed from a site may look attractive. In reality SEO-based solutions like this were effectively made redundant by Google back in 2013.

There are risks inherent as well: below we show two real life examples of reviews (not just any review: the first review at the top of the list*) shown when we've followed those links or read those feeds...

Hotels


Estate Agents


And in some cases those links or feeds are even being paid for! 

It's just another case for retaining control of your reputation on the web - on and through your own website

Our advice:

Our advice to clients (outside the hospitality industry) has always been consistent: there are only two places you need reviews, on your own website and on Google. 

Having reviews of your business hosted on an external site (whether you link to the site, or the site gives you a feed of - your own! - reviews) while superficially appealing in the short term, invariably adds more value for the host site than for the client business (just ask businesses that have been paying Yelp over the years!)

Dialogue is a modern integrated solution to reviews: enabling you to host your own reviews on your own website and get those reviews to Google. Just what every business needs in 2015.

*This is key - up until the day you link all the reviews may be great, but that's no guarantee that future reviews will be positive. By using Dialogue you ensure that your retain control of one of your major business assets - your reputation.



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