Thursday 4 February 2016

Restaurants (and Pubs) - don't get filtered!

Google's filter is now operational on all mobile platforms. If you don't need any web-driven business you may as well stop reading this now, but if you have spare capacity (as so many London pubs in this article did back in 2014) please read on.

It really is very simple indeed. If your establishment has:
  • less than five reviews, or
  • scores less than 4.0 out of 5 
Those looking for a great restaurant or pub (or hotel, for that matter) will be offered the opportunity to filter you out of search.

Here's an example: 

Let's use a common search: 'Chinese' in 'Chelsea' (note: no need to use the word 'restaurant' in search any more). Here are the results:


At the top, just under the map, you will see 'Any rating' in small print and 'FILTER' in block capitals. Click on either of those and this pops up:

Which would you choose? We're betting the answer is '4.0 of course': So let's look at the search results now:

The two remaining restaurants, Bo Lang and Hunan, should not rest on their laurels: a single one star review to add to the seven reviews it's already received will drive Bo Lang out of filtered search as well (and a similar small handful will do the same for Hunan).

No less than eight of the ten Chinese restaurants in Chelsea have been filtered (either for scoring at less than 4.0 out of 5 or because they have fewer than five reviews).

Useful for the consumer? Well, we asked a random selection and out of twenty-five people questioned they all thought so. Useful for businesses? Absolutely: providing they score 4.0 or better!

And pubs?

Here's the same search:

Before filtering:

And after:

Of the original three, only the Pig's Ear survives - and then only by the skin of it's teeth - one more one star review from a disgruntled customer and they're out as well. Of the 21 pubs listed that do score 4.0 or higher (out of 65), nineteen score 4.2 or less, dangerously close to the filter's cut-off point);

Never has there been a stronger case for businesses of all kinds to employ professional review management, and to do so before use of the filter becomes an everyday activity amongst your customers, but more importantly those businesses that stand to gain most from mobile search: any business connected to hospitality and tourism.

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