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Old 02-19-2014, 10:12 PM
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Google Places Rating Avg.

Does anyone have any idea on how the Google Rating system works on Places? I have I think 7 reviews and I am working on more with special business cards coming.

My question is this. Of my 7 reviews if you read each customers , they each rate us 5 star. When you view our page google plus page or place listing it shows either an average rating of 4.8 or 4.9 stars. Any idea on how this occurs and why?

Thanks in advance,

Michael
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2014, 10:51 PM
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Mine does the same thing all reviews are 5 stars and still get a 4.9.
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  #3  
Old 02-19-2014, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Landscape Poet View Post
Any idea on how this occurs and why?
This is just your introduction to the term "signals". Google loves them. They take your raw review scores, but also sprinkle in a dash of any number of other signal inputs. It's pretty safe to assume that Google doesn't present a single bit of data, short of your static info (name, phone, content), without subjecting it to some algorithm or another.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by tonygreek View Post
This is just your introduction to the term "signals". Google loves them. They take your raw review scores, but also sprinkle in a dash of any number of other signal inputs. It's pretty safe to assume that Google doesn't present a single bit of data, short of your static info (name, phone, content), without subjecting it to some algorithm or another.
So for example on webmaster tools....I am able to highlight data to show in results, including my rating. I have held off on this worrying that it may have unintended consequences ....sounds like my thought process may have been warranted?

It is not the end of the world this score because obvious most will understand that a 4.8 is still a great average....but it is one of the many things that I have been frustrated trying to understand with google recently.

With hummingbird update....Google started hating me, while I still rank first page organic on bing and yahoo. Frustrated and changing SEO companies to see what the outcome will be but as many people have been before I have become frustrated trying to understand what Google is thinking today!
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2014, 10:02 PM
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Yes, it's frustrating, but it's understandable that Google, as with everything else, looks outside their own sandbox to compile their data, ie your ratings. If you have no other reviews, it could be a glitch or it could be their attempt to pare back a, potentially, unrealistic 5.0. I don't think I'd let it dissuade or discourage me. Another way to look at it is "How many of my competitors are showing this data?". A highlighted result, even if an imperfect 4.8, shows that you have some level of profile.

As for Hummingbird, why do you think/know you got hit?
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:25 AM
curtislawncare curtislawncare is offline
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From Google Plus Help > Local :

Score calculation

"We calculate an overall rating based on user ratings and a variety of other signals to ensure that the overall score best reflects the quality of the establishment."

Google distinguishes the score they calculate from the review ratings users give you. The score includes more signals than a raw review rating.
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Last edited by curtislawncare; 02-21-2014 at 06:31 AM.
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2014, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygreek View Post
Yes, it's frustrating, but it's understandable that Google, as with everything else, looks outside their own sandbox to compile their data, ie your ratings. If you have no other reviews, it could be a glitch or it could be their attempt to pare back a, potentially, unrealistic 5.0. I don't think I'd let it dissuade or discourage me. Another way to look at it is "How many of my competitors are showing this data?". A highlighted result, even if an imperfect 4.8, shows that you have some level of profile.
Without even highlighting that I already stand out because believe it or not even as competitive as the Orlando Market is, there are not many LCO's that have ratings. Those that I have seen and would consider competition meaning on key words or phrases I am SEO for..most do not have any rating and those that do may have a good rating but only be one or two ratings, with generally one of those being "a google user" review that may or may not be but often read like the owner created their own review.

I am currently having business cards made up for myself as test from a friend that does this process for hotels. These business cards instead of a blank back or another listing of services contains a request for the customer to "review us" on Google Places, Yelp etc.
I am thinking when these are complete I can reach the mid 20's in numbers of quality reviews by June or so which will really shout out to the customer when they see that in their results.

The only other review I know of currently is on Angie's list and it is a glowing review in my opinion.....maybe not googles?



Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygreek View Post
As for Hummingbird, why do you think/know you got hit?
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I am not positive yet. I am working my way through trying to figure out what they do not like now. I had asked my formal SEO company to perform this but I did not receive quality feed back or results.

I thought it might be my actual web hosting service and using a templete format after reading up here...but I have eliminated that because in the last month I have started creating more and more page content, creating or heading towards I guess I should say a specific page for each service for each community. For example I am based out of Oviedo FL, however I have made a page for Heathrow FL for Sod Installation and a Page for Heathrow Lawn Maintenance, and as soon as I published and then indexed with google...first or second page organic results in two days....so it is not the format...or at least not completely.

I have switched SEO companies from a very large corporation that does national work to a Local SEO company who is a three man operation in hopes of not only better quality but also being promised better contact and information as they have been prompt in answering my questions and thoughts so far...but we are only a week or so in so lets see if it continues.

If all else fails I was going to come here and beg you for some of your time Tony to help me work through it. I prefer not to do that though! I like saving the big guns until all other possibilities have failed
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2014, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landscape Poet View Post
I am currently having business cards made up for myself as test from a friend that does this process for hotels. These business cards instead of a blank back or another listing of services contains a request for the customer to "review us" on Google Places, Yelp etc.
That's a great idea. Printed links, to each of your review sites, would save people half the problem... finding the exact review locations in the first place.
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Originally Posted by Landscape Poet View Post
I have switched SEO companies from a very large corporation that does national work to a Local SEO company who is a three man operation in hopes of not only better quality but also being promised better contact and information
My hope is that you find this to be a night and day difference. Actually knowing who you are, what your business is, and their attaining a certain level of buy-in, will give you a better experience, as well as more accountability, on their end.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2014, 06:34 AM
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My hope is that you find this to be a night and day difference. Actually knowing who you are, what your business is, and their attaining a certain level of buy-in, will give you a better experience, as well as more accountability, on their end.
So far the signs are good. Yesterday was the first day that actually started work on it.
They added some missing robot tags , generated new keyword rich titles, corrected meta description length as it was too long, Meta Keywords added as they were not there on some of the pages etc etc.
The homepage is totally arranged differently now.

I was actually a little hesitant about using local first as he was more affordable than the national company for ongoing SEO work. His first day proved that he will be more valuable because he addressed things that I had mentioned above and as well as a lot more, then proceeded to send me a goals sheet with accomplishment dates. I am to get one of these every month per my request. The reason why is I feel if I am paying you to perform SEO - then you should include me on what is being done and when. INSPECT WHAT YOU EXPECT is what I have learned over the years.
The last company did not want to do that after several request and it came through way. They were simply collecting their monthy check and doing very little SEO after the intital page SEO set up other than submitting some back links etc. Nothing as far as actual page SEO unless I requested it and even then it may take several request to finally get it accomplished.
Potentially I will save more of my advertising dollars with the company and achieve better results leaving more money for ad word campaigns until google starts ranking me much higher again for all the keyword and phrases I am looking for.
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"the art of survival is a story that never ends"

Providing Lawn Services, Landscape Installations and Solutions and Sod Services in the Oviedo Florida Market

If you aspire to a six-figure income, don't get advice from someone making $18,000 a year!
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  #10  
Old 02-23-2014, 08:56 AM
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tonygreek tonygreek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landscape Poet View Post
So far the signs are good. Yesterday was the first day that actually started work on it.
They added some missing robot tags , generated new keyword rich titles, corrected meta description length as it was too long, Meta Keywords added as they were not there on some of the pages etc etc.
If the new SEO guys added your Meta Keywords tags, my confidence level just sunk. Sorry. Some members of Lawnsite were still in kindergarten when they were last used by the engines. In your case, and as you'll see when I get to the issues of keyword spamming, they can only do you more harm than good, as they are used to identify sites as such. Now, you may get a response of "Hey, adding the Meta Keywords can't hurt, so we did it." but that would be wrong. It would also be a waste of your money as they could be doing other things than that. Adding the tag is nothing more than "look what we did" filler and invoice padding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landscape Poet View Post
The homepage is totally arranged differently now.
Just checked out your site. When you say "the homepage is totally arranged differently now", would you mind explaining? I have some serious concerns, but would prefer to know what you've done to the site and what they've changed. My knee-jerk reaction is that I'm looking at the issues Google seems to see with your site. #4 on Bing, Page 7 on Google, for the same, big dog term, is definitely indicative of a problem. To me, it could just as easily be a spam site. From the link names, to the duplicate content pages, to the 63 times "Oviedo" is used on the "Oviedo Lawn Care" page (which really isn't an Oviedo lawn care page).

For example, take your very first nav menu link, the aforementioned "Oviedo Lawn Care" page. Instead of getting what any visitor would assume (a page about your lawn care service in Oviedo), we're presented with a contact form. To say it's a "thin" page of content is an understatement but, when you factor in all of the nav link wording/keyword-spamming, the word "Oviedo" appears 36 times on the page (do a "view source" and word search and you'll understand), yet only has 3.8% content to code, and has an astonishing 74 server requests(!) and two dozen uses of javascript. (a modern, updated site would eliminate the majority of images/scripts) There are also, somehow, 75 images on that page? I'm actually glad to see the alt tag hasn't been utilized for them. On your site's home page, "Oviedo" appears a robust 63 times.

Other usability issues: your nav menu links disappear on hover, as well as one doesn't display at all. On some pages, your Google+ link covers a nav menu link. The blog link is dead/not loading.

Personally, my first recommendation, before throwing dollars after SEO, would be to redesign/organize the site, and have one site that covers both desktop and mobile, not as it is now, via www.yardworks and m.oviedoyardworks. As it currently exists, I just don't think it's set up to engage and convert any traffic from the increased rank your site may see. If you look at your Analytics, what is your bounce rate, page visits, and time spent on site telling you? What is it telling your SEO guys?
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