Why would any business pay for an independent reviews solution when Google reviews are...
- highly visible
Any business can invite its customers to write a review to Google, without paying Google a penny.
No independent site can come close to Google for visibility (see screenshots below). Score and link straight to reviews in the knowledge panel - the reviews tab front-and-central in mobile search - even without the schema in organic search and 'Reviews for the web' it trumps all the independent sites hands down.
One of the inherent failings of reviews sites is that they tend to actively drive dissatisfied consumers to write a review to Google - undoing all the hard work that has gone into getting reviews to the site
For us this is the clincher. Anyone can write a review to Google - and, yes, that can include fakes (competitors or disgruntled ex-employees) but that is a strength, not a weakness. These fakes are so easily spotted - and, after all is said and done, the business has an automatic right-of-reply to every review, so they are at liberty to 'out' them as well.
The positive, which far outweighs any negatives, is that Google reviews have, for some years now, had to be attached to a G+ account. Just look at this review - does it look 'fake' to you?
...and this one?
Written by someone who had simply been on a viewing, so strictly speaking not a 'customer', but would you want a system that excludes people like this?
The question businesses should be asking themselves is not 'which reviews solution should we adopt?' but 'why shouldn't we adopt Google as our reviews solution?' Our answer to that? 'No reason whatsoever'.
So where does HelpHound come in?
Yes - that is the $64,000 question: how can we add value? Here are the answers...
- You need independently verified reviews on your own site - Google reviews are not seen by everyone - and HelpHound provides the mechanism for inviting and publishing these
- You need a safety mechanism that allows you an opportunity to correct inaccurate or potentially misleading (or even fake!) reviews pre-publication - that complies with the CMA regulations
- You want a star rating and score in organic/local search? HelpHound will provide it (see the screenshot above)
- You want your reviews to show in 'Reviews from the web' in your Google knowledge panel? You've got them (see the screenshot above)