An update to Google’s verified listings directory for businesses, Google Places, added customer ratings and reviews in Google Maps, Google+ and Google Search to general information such as address, contact details and description.
“With a quick search, locals – or even people new in town – can read reviews from your regulars to find the right place for a romantic dinner, a prize-winning turkey, or the perfect (last-minute) present for Mom,” Google said in its small business blog.
The update to Google Places for Business also gave business owners a review inbox where they could respond to customers’ reviews left on Google. “Are your customers happy with your service? Thank them for the kind words so they recommend you to their friends. Do they mention some areas for improvement? Ask them for suggestions so they visit you again,” the blog said.
The reviews inbox appeared under the Reviews tab in the business owner’s Google Places for Business dashboard, which had recently been revamped.
A business could drum up more good reviews by encouraging customers to post reviews on the business’ page on Google+, Google’s social networking platform. Businesses could verify themselves for free by visiting Google Places.
Image credit: Google Small Business blog