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HOT TOPIC How much of a difference do Google reviews make to your business?

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DoingDeals

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Yeah, I've read through the Amazon FBA stuff, most of them are bought, constantly changing & pay customers $20 to remove their negative comments. Just figured I would point out another perspective.


I don't know if anyone picked up on it the Yelp reviews of itself are terrible always under 2.5-stars. No one trusts them either it's a joke, but since they merged with iPhone's Apple Maps you kind of have to look out for them as a business owner.


They will actually offer to remove the bad reviews & restore the filtered out good reviews, if you pay them upwards $300 per month or whatever.


Google is the number one concern.


Sorry, I didn't mean to deviate off the topic.
 

DoingDeals

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I also want to talk about mass momentum, if there's a lot of customers up front giving 5-stars making more of them believe it like mind control, they will leave you more good reviews. You have to do this in the early stages when you start a company.
It's like what you charge is how people will view the value of products & services actually, expensive Starbucks coffee for example or a personal trainer charging $5,000-6,000 to celebrities is better than the $30-50 an hour ones when they're showing the same moves & workout routines exactly, essentially.
 
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robertwills

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by the way Amazon reviews are a totally different ball game to Google. From my experience most people know to take Amazon reviews with a pinch of salt!
Almost all people do not know how to read reviews anywhere to accurately judge the product or service. I heard a well regarded doctor say they were going to purchase a food product online because it had really good reviews!
 

MattR82

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Almost all people do not know how to read reviews anywhere to accurately judge the product or service. I heard a well regarded doctor say they were going to purchase a food product online because it had really good reviews!
Maybe 5 years ago.

Myself, and everyone I know actually, are well aware of the world's Karen's leaving unfair bad reviews. To say "almost all people" don't know how to read google reviews is waaaay off the mark.

I base most of my local buying decisions off Google reviews. The first thing I do is check how many there are, how recent they are, if anything is written on those recent 5 star reviews. Then I maaaayyy check out the 1 star reviews and see if it was a total crackpot and how the business responded to them. Literally takes 5 seconds.

It annoys me to no end when people get wound up over one bad review when they have 50 or a few hundred good google reviews. People know the deal these days.

One bad review amongst a lot of good ones definitely DOES NOT affect you.

And yes, that of course means you have to have a good business that also has a lot of good reviews.

To be clear I'm talking specifically about google reviews where it's easy to filter. Reviews on other platforms is a whole other story.
 

robertwills

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Maybe 5 years ago.

Myself, and everyone I know actually, are well aware of the world's Karen's leaving unfair bad reviews. To say "almost all people" don't know how to read google reviews is waaaay off the mark.

I base most of my local buying decisions off Google reviews. The first thing I do is check how many there are, how recent they are, if anything is written on those recent 5 star reviews. Then I maaaayyy check out the 1 star reviews and see if it was a total crackpot and how the business responded to them. Literally takes 5 seconds.

It annoys me to no end when people get wound up over one bad review when they have 50 or a few hundred good google reviews. People know the deal these days.

One bad review amongst a lot of good ones definitely DOES NOT affect you.

And yes, that of course means you have to have a good business that also has a lot of good reviews.

To be clear I'm talking specifically about google reviews where it's easy to filter. Reviews on other platforms is a whole other story.
"One bad review amongst a lot of good ones definitely DOES NOT affect you"

One review, depending on what is said, can definitely affect you. I did research on a company and they had all good reviews except a couple of negative ones. One of those reviews said to check news articles about the company from years ago. I did. It took a bit of doing but I found them. There is no way I would ever buy from that company. The good reviews may have been fake or maybe the company learned from their mistakes. Even then I would not take the risk. There are other companies that provide the same service.
 

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"One bad review amongst a lot of good ones definitely DOES NOT affect you"

One review, depending on what is said, can definitely affect you. I did research on a company and they had all good reviews except a couple of negative ones. One of those reviews said to check news articles about the company from years ago. I did. It took a bit of doing but I found them. There is no way I would ever buy from that company. The good reviews may have been fake or maybe the company learned from their mistakes. Even then I would not take the risk. There are other companies that provide the same service.
Well yeah, if you have bad news articles out there about you then no duh.
 

runnaboi

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That's assuming you also have a tonne of great reviews.

Most people do not know how to accurately judge reviews. Me included but I have gotten better. A few months ago I bought a product with thousands of mostly 4 and 5 star reviews. The product was actually junk. It was designed poorly and broke within weeks. I learned that all the reviewers, who were actual buyers, were given a free substantial gift immediately after purchase to review the product. It didn't have to be a good review but most people felt obligated in this instance to leave a good review.
This is actually a potential fastlane opportunity. I thought of it the other day when buying a safe. I found one on Amazon that had a 4.9 star rating, but before buying I checked to see if The Lockpicking Lawyer had reviewed it... and he had! It was rubbish. The 4.9 stars were won by delivering quick etc. The opportunity that I saw (But am not interested in pursuing myself) is to create a review platform that professionals in the field of that product can review. Eventually you could have it as an add-on for Amazon, Alibaba, Ebay etc (So you can see customer reviews as well as professional reviews). You could also have the option for businesses to register that they want their product reviewed, and get paired up with a suitable pro. There is something like it already, but not very developed in my opinion.
 

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This is actually a potential fastlane opportunity. I thought of it the other day when buying a safe. I found one on Amazon that had a 4.9 star rating, but before buying I checked to see if The Lockpicking Lawyer had reviewed it... and he had! It was rubbish. The 4.9 stars were won by delivering quick etc. The opportunity that I saw (But am not interested in pursuing myself) is to create a review platform that professionals in the field of that product can review. Eventually you could have it as an add-on for Amazon, Alibaba, Ebay etc (So you can see customer reviews as well as professional reviews). You could also have the option for businesses to register that they want their product reviewed, and get paired up with a suitable pro. There is something like it already, but not very developed in my opinion.
I think this idea has some legs.

Review sites are getting harder and harder to rank in Google. This could be an alternative traffic source for them.

But how do you avoid poor reviews? As in, professionals who just want to make some affiliate money so they leave a good review of a crap product?
 

runnaboi

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But how do you avoid poor reviews? As in, professionals who just want to make some affiliate money so they leave a good review of a crap product?
I haven't thought too much about it, but you would have to make sure that the reviewer is rewarded by the platform, not the company... but other than to note it as something that someone could do I haven't thought through the logistics much!
 

robertwills

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This is actually a potential fastlane opportunity. I thought of it the other day when buying a safe. I found one on Amazon that had a 4.9 star rating, but before buying I checked to see if The Lockpicking Lawyer had reviewed it... and he had! It was rubbish. The 4.9 stars were won by delivering quick etc. The opportunity that I saw (But am not interested in pursuing myself) is to create a review platform that professionals in the field of that product can review. Eventually you could have it as an add-on for Amazon, Alibaba, Ebay etc (So you can see customer reviews as well as professional reviews). You could also have the option for businesses to register that they want their product reviewed, and get paired up with a suitable pro. There is something like it already, but not very developed in my opinion.
That's a good idea. But how do you ensure the professionals are being honest and not being paid by the manufacturer?
 

runnaboi

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That's a good idea. But how do you ensure the professionals are being honest and not being paid by the manufacturer?
Like I said above, I haven't actually gone through all the scenarios as it was just an idea that popped in to my head. But it doesn't align with my medium/long term plan.
But lots (not all) of the pros have a reputation to keep. Using the first example I gave, I cant image the Lock Picking Lawyer being one that could be paid off for a positive review - his reputation is that he can quickly pick most locks. You could also maybe arrange it so that the manufacturer doesn't actually know who will review it, and pay is based on the reach the pros have or something like that. Just a random idea though!
 

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I'm in the pressure washing business and these google reviews are HUGE. Obviously every business is different, but pressure washing we need a LOT of customers in order to get above 5 figures revenue. I figure it costs me about $20-$35 to acquire a new customer, and I've gotten a few off my google reviews alone, though I LOVE yard signs.
What I've personally done is offered a small discount in exchange for a google review after the work is completed. I'm VERY sensitive about the language I use when offering a customer this and I don't do this with every customer (usually the ones that I think are easy going), and I always stress I only want the review AFTER the work is done, AFTER we've done a walk-around of the cleaned surface, and they're satisified. Not satisified? Okay, I'll go ahead and re-wash the areas you don't like, we'll do another walk around, then I'll bill you and on a $450 wash I'll take $30-$40 (usually 10% off) and show you how to do the google review right then and there.
 

DoingDeals

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The other problem is Google displays other review websites for restaurants like Uber, Doordash & TripAdvisor.

Lowe's, Home Depot or Best Buy have their own review systems, which I use to base my decisions too.


Wendy's currently has a 1-star Facebook rating.

They use the information Google cached it's under "Reviews from the web".

I've never seen this for any other type of industry or the large chain corporations & fast food for some reason.
 

DoingDeals

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Edit: Hotels display Priceline & TripAdvisor under the reviews tab, as well.

If you see Google saying 5-stars & Yelp 3.5 it's affects my decision making process & weight on each other a conundrum.
 

Bekit

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A friend of mine is building a local internet service provider (ISP).

He is running two different companies.

Let's call one of them, "Rural Broadband." It uses Fixed Wireless technology to deliver internet from a tower in the local area to a dish on the customer's roof. A typical plan is 50-75 mbps for $55/month.

Let's call the other one, "Fast Fiberoptic." It uses Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) technology. A typical plan is 300 mbps for $49/month.

Rural Broadband and Fast Fiberoptic are run by the same ownership. They use the same technicians. They share the same customer service team. They operate on the same primary circuit to the tier 1 internet backbone, so if anything happens to that circuit, both companies go down simultaneously. Everything about the customer's interaction with the company is the same except for the logo on their invoice.

But wait, actually, Fast Fiberoptic's customers get faster internet for a cheaper price. They have more uptime (because Rural Broadband's service can be affected by rain, hail, snow, refraction, high winds that push a customer's dish out of alignment with the tower, and more). Fiber is intrinsically more stable.

So you'd think that Fast Fiberoptic's customers are super happy with that.

But no.

Why?

One reason:

Google reviews.

Because of a few vocal Karen's in the neighborhood Facebook groups where Fast Fiberoptic provides service, the Google reviews for Fast Fiberoptic are terrible. Tons of one-star reviews that all complain about how horrible the service is, and how it's down "all the time" and how it's totally unreliable. Overall star rating: 3.5.

The Google reviews for Rural Broadband, on the other hand, are fantastic. Reviews mention how awesome the service is, how stable it is, how happy they are with the service, and how glad they are to have switched. Overall star rating: 4.7.

New potential customers who call in to Fast Fiberoptic express concern about uptime and outages.

New potential customers who call in to Rural Broadband express how they've seen how highly rated the company is, so they want to be on the service.

Sometimes, Fast Fiberoptic's customers even call Rural Broadband to inquire about signing up because they're looking for a better provider.

It's funny.

It's JUST perception. But the whole general public's perception is shaped by this one thing.

Which leads to a snowball effect.

Any little blip in the service, and Fast Fiberoptic's customers are freaking out. Their initial perception is confirmed. "I knew it! The service is unreliable! This is ridiculous! I'm going to shout at someone about this!!"

Meanwhile, Rural Broadband's customers don't make a peep. "Oh, it's probably nothing. It'll be right back on. Not a big deal."

Interestingly...

The Google reviews have NOT stopped Fast Fiberoptic from customer acquisition. Out of all the available homes in their service area, more than 75% of them have signed up for service with Fast Fiberoptic over the competition.

Why?

Because there is only one other provider in the area, and they're way worse.

So this goes back to CENTS. Particularly...

E - Entry. Launching an ISP is HARD. And expensive. And once a neighborhood is built, it is very difficult to retroactively go in and install fiber lines. So whatever went in the ground when the neighborhood was brand new is probably all that is going to be available for decades or possibly forever to people who live there.

N - Need. Internet is a utility. People need the internet for EVERYTHING. Working from home, doing school from home, entertaining themselves, entertaining their kids ...

T - Time. Once you install a customer on the service, the amount of additional time you will ever spend with that customer again is minimal. Yet you get the MRR every month without fail.


Anyway, I just thought this was an interesting glimpse into a real business and how Google reviews have affected them.
 

Tourmaline

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Google Reviews has surpassed Yelp as the authority about what businesses are trusted or not. So I'd expect Google Review to make a big difference for most, if not all, businesses today.

Unfortunate really, as it further concentrates power into Google's hands but...it is what it is.
 

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