Google Adds Ratings to Map Feature: What Will People Say About You?

By
Education & Training with WickedWriter.com

Photo from http://www.sxc.hu/profile/ispapGoogle has just announced the addition of local reviews to their popular local map features. So, just to see how this works, I popped over and did a search for my favorite pizza place nearby and did my first "user review" on Google local maps. It was quick and easy and I'll probably do more soon.

Growth in Google Searches

According to a recent report by Hitwise (released yesterday), Google carried 65.13% of all searches in the USA during May. This, compared to the 59.27% market share for Google the same time last year, shows that Google is only growing in popularity. No big surprise there.

Importance of Local Search

Many agents have noticed the fluctuation in page rank and SE results for real estate keywords with the latest alogrithm tweak by Google. It's frustrating for you, but more frustrating for your clients who end up landing on less than useful pages. Local search becomes increasingly important as general searches provide less tasty results.

And... these new reviews are centered on the local search and mapping scenario.

Who You Gonna Call?

It's a bit unclear how this will look in a few months. Maybe, like many "reader-centric" services (think Wikipedia), this will be a great thing. Maybe it won't. But I'd be interested to know how you expect it to roll, if you are going to watch your reviews and how you plan to handle any reputation defense issues, should they arise.

What Will You Say?

Now, I'm wondering as a reviewer... is there any legal liability if I say that I've dealt with a business or a professional that's less than "professional" in their actions? With people suing because a potential buyer said they have tacky colors in their home -- I wonder what will happen with THIS one!

My question to agents and brokers is...

How important will reputation management become as a service as these "come as you are" reviews are not only opened up, but second nature to those folks who use Google? Will you monitor or ignore these reviews?

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Tags:
internet marketing
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maps
customer service
real estate marketing
local search
reputation management

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Ambassador
1,543,273
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

As with all things technology, people will first jump to anything new, when it hits them that they crossed the line, will they care? I know one thing, it is getting harder and harder to keep up with all this and still function as REALTOR.
Sincerely,
William

Jun 20, 2007 02:24 PM #1
Rainmaker
560,622
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal
I'll have to check that new feature out.  Boy, just another thing to worry about.
Jun 20, 2007 02:29 PM #2
Rainer
22,520
Angela Allen
WickedWriter.com - Danville, KY
Marketing Specialist

Yes, it does seem the the technology is keeping us hopping.

Funny thing, my husband just came into my office and asked me what new, wonderful, interesting thing I learned about today... and I gave him a handful (which impressed him) and told him that those items only represented the last 20 minutes of my day.

I'm with you... staying "up" on everything is taking up all of my time... when I should be doing business, billing clients or... er... sleeping!

Jun 20, 2007 02:52 PM #3
Rainmaker
643,395
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro
Riding the Google roller coaster is a constant surprise.  It will be interesting to see where this goes.
Jun 20, 2007 02:54 PM #4
Rainer
22,520
Angela Allen
WickedWriter.com - Danville, KY
Marketing Specialist
Jun 20, 2007 02:55 PM #5
Rainer
510,925
Jacqulyn Richey
Prominent Realty Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate
Yahoo has a rating system as well for their local stuff. I'm betting MSN will follow suit. Its all about information anymore. -Charles
Jun 20, 2007 03:02 PM #6
Rainmaker
242,501
Brad Snyder
Sierra Vista Realty - Sierra Vista, AZ

Is Google taking over the world? I am not sure its a good thing, but I love g-mail and the Google calandar. The reviews will be interesting if people like it and use it. Thanks for the info.

 

Jun 20, 2007 03:24 PM #7
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Angela Allen

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