From an SEO stand point Google+ Reviews have been the most valuable because these reviews are directly connected to Google’s search algorithm and appear beside your business listing on the Google Locals section. If your business acquires a certain amount of reviews your listing will receive a corresponding star status. A glowing 5 star status ultimately grabs an online consumer’s attention, invokes trust, and encourages them to visit your website.
Google reviews trump other online review platforms because unlike Google Plus, they require users to go to a separate site to view customer feedback. The separate review site essentially distracts the user from the ultimate goal of visiting your main website.
Recent changes to Google’s algorithm puts more value on Facebook reviews, and showcases your average star status in the search result section similar to Google’s review star system. Although Google+ reviews are still the most valuable for your Google search results, these recent updates prove that having positive reviews across your social media platforms is ideal for conversion.
Why would Google incorporate Facebook’s Star Review system?
We speculate that Google is making Facebook reviews more relevant to their algorithm to overcome their own social media shortcomings. Unfortunately everyone did not jump on the Google+ profile band wagon, which in turn limited the accessibility of Google’s Review system. In order to post feedback on a Google business page a user is required to use their Google email. If the user does not have an associated Google email they cannot provide their feedback. Personal Facebook profiles on the other hand have become essential, giving Facebook the advantage of being accessible to the largest online audience.
Also since Google Plus did not catch wide spread popularity there is also a disadvantage of individuals not taking the time to fill out their profile or actively engaging with the platform on a regular basis. The unfamiliarity of the Google+ platform may prevent users from understanding how to leave a review, whereas Facebook navigation has become second nature making posting a review quick and painless.
Another current disadvantage of Google’s review system is that users on a mobile device must download the Google+ app to leave a review. The extra effort is unrealistic & makes the mobile review platform practically useless. Facebook’s review platform overcomes Google’s shortcoming because it was designed to be user friendly across devices. The mobile advantage allows users to review on-the-go while their customer experience is still fresh in their mind, thus significantly increasing the likelihood of attaining a review.
The recent changes to incorporate Facebook review stars to Google’s algorithm could be a move to become more inclusive and stress that quality service has an impact on how they rank your company.