If you spend too much time on Google like I do you may have noticed a small addition to the Google My Business reviews. Earlier this month they quietly added a “helpful?” button which allows users to indicate whether or not a review on a client left was helpful.
You can see an example of this button on this screenshot below:
What Are The Benefits of This?
It looks to me like Google has been getting more serious about reviews (again). Obviously there is a lot of spam out there right now and they may use this as a way of validating user reviews. Since some GMB Listings display review snippets automatically I think it’s feasible they could end up using these helpful votes to also prioritize reviews. This could be great for businesses who run a great business but just got a random bad review.
In the example below you can see Google chose to display these reviews but not necessarily in any pattern I have been able to figure out yet:
Where is Google Headed
It seems pretty clear to me that Google is trying hard to get back into the review game. They’re putting more effort on testing the visibility of reviews and taking action against some spammy review accounts. I think you will see reviews become a bigger focus in local very soon.
Make sure to keep on getting good client reviews for your business and stay ahead of the Google game.