Mike Blumenthal blogged last month on the topic of becoming a Top Reviewer (as a business page) in Google Plus Local. Notably, there appears to be an opportunity for a business, as a Google+ page, to achieve this distinction. But how exactly do you (as a business) become a Google+ Top Reviewer?
As you may have noticed, Google Plus ranks review content based on who is leaving the review and what other users think of the review (most useful -> least useful). More or less, it’s an effort to weed out spammy or fake reviews and establish a hierarchy for everything in between. There’s also anecdotal evidence to suggest that reviews from trusted sources can have a greater impact on your local search ranking. Motivation enough for business owners to seek reviews from established Google+ reviewers.
This ability to leave reviews as a business page has been available in Google+ for a while now, however, Top Reviewer status has always been attributed to individual G+ users.
After checking a few other cities, I struggled to find any other examples, besides The Corcoran Group, of businesses on Google+ who were also Top Reviewers. For now, Top Reviewers only appear to be popping up in and around big cities, or wherever there’s a Google Local team present.
Within Google+ Local, you can filter search results to get a page that looks like this:
So without many examples to look at, it’s difficult to quantify exactly how to go about achieving this status as a business page, but I think we can presume it boils down to the same criteria Google has in place for individual users.
Here’s what I’ve found ...
Quantity + Quality
The minimum requirement to achieve Top Reviewer status seems to be as few as 30 reviews. But be prepared to dig in, it could take 100 or more. Because business pages allow for multiple managers, this could expedite the process.
When it comes to writing reviews, keep it real. The goal is to get other people to find your reviews helpful. You can write great reviews by being specific and relevant to the place you are reviewing. And as Google says, be creative and have fun.
Check-ins Only a User Feature?
For now, all ‘Local’ mobile functions within the Google Plus app seem to be limited to the user account. So reviewing as a business page is also limited to the browser -- with no apparent option to check-in. App update soon?
You Don’t Need to be Popular
Surprisingly, the number of followers you have, or the size of your circles, does not weigh in on your ability to become a Top Reviewer. Only your reviews themselves need to be popular (or helpful), not you. I actually found a Top Reviewer with as few as three followers, no profile photo, only one circle, and a single check-in. But this same user also had 490 reviews accompanied with a few geo-tagged photos.
Days, Weeks, Months?
You can get there pretty quick. See: How to Become a Google+ Local Top Reviewer in a Week (or less). If you post high-quality reviews and post a lot of them, eventually you will become a Top Reviewer. Be careful with the velocity of your reviews though, too many too fast could appear spammy (2-3 per day looks safe).
Last month, Google+ Local Austin launched a 30-day Review Challenge. Basically, every day, for thirty days, Google gave reviewers an objective ranging from ‘review a place you believe is overrated’ to ‘your favorite date spot or picnic spot’. Reviewers who completed the challenge quickly became Top Reviewers (Keep an eye out for similar Google Local events in your area).
Most hard-core reviewers are well past 500, but I‘ve found a few examples of users who were able to get there much faster ...
Good luck to all reviewers. You can follow EZlocal on Google+ as we’ll continue to keep tabs on this new feature and more.