Service Industry Reviews: Top 5 Sites Picked Up by Google's Local Business Center

A few weeks ago we kicked off a series of posts about which review websites are most frequently picked up in Google Maps. In our first installment, we learned which sites feed the most restaurant reviews into Google's Local Business Center. Today, we will switch industries and examine the websites that feed the most service business reviews into Google Local. Without further ado, the top 5:

Top 5 Google LBC Review Sites

  1. maps.google.com – With a staggering 52.5%, Google cruises in at the #1 spot, accounting for 2,414 of the 4,598 reviews studied.
  2. www.citysearch.com – Garnering almost 30% of the total reviews and making its second top 5 list is Citysearch, which claimed 1,358 of the 4,598 reviews studied.
  3. www.insiderpages.com – After narrowly missing out on the top 5 last time (Insider Pages feeds the 6th most restaurant reviews into Google's LBC), Insider Pages comes in third, accounting for 438 of the 4,598 total reviews.
  4. www.kudzu.com – Accounting for 116 of the 4,598 total reviews is Kudzu, another site that barely missed the top 5 last time (Kudzu feeds the 9th most restaurant reviews into Google's LBC).
  5. www.judysbook.com – Accounting for 115 of the 4,598 total reviews studied is Judy's Book, yet another site that missed the top 5 last time (Judy's Book feeds the 7th most restaurant reviews into Google's LBC).

Where are the niche sites?

In our examination of restaurant reviews, we saw three niche sites crack the top 5 (tripadvisor.com, zagat.com and urbanspoon.com). However, today's study of service industry reviews produced only sites that allow users to review a wide array of businesses across all industries, the usual suspects. In fact, every site that made the top 5 for service reviews also made the top 10 for restaurant reviews:

Site Rank for Feeding Service Reviews to the LBC Rank for Feeding Restaurant Reviews to the LBC
maps.google.com #1 #4
citysearch.com #2 #1
insiderpages.com #3 #6
kudzu.com #4 #9
judysbook.com #5 #7

ServiceMagic is a niche site that focuses solely on the service industry, but with a paltry 69 reviews out of the 4,598 studied, it comes in a distant 6th. However, this relative lack of niche review sites for the service industry isn't that surprising.

People generally eat three times a day (sometimes more), but you only need a plumber once every few years (if that). Even services that you might need frequently, like dry cleaning, are twice-a-week activities conducted at a single business. On the other hand, when it comes to eating out, people will experiment and seek out much more variety. As a result, eating out becomes a very discussion-worthy topic.

Which local roadhouse grills the best steak? Which diner has the prettiest waitresses? Moreover, we are all qualified to evaluate food; everybody eats so everybody can join the discussion. But, if someone asked me to evaluate the quality of my plumber's flare connections on the copper piping in my bathroom, I wouldn't know where to begin; and, it's certainly not a topic you can build a community around.

Breaking Down the "Other" Slice of Pie:

The above pie chart boasts a rather meager slice called "other." This wedge only accounts for 3.41% of the total service reviews studied and encompasses just 20 sites. Conversely, the "other" slice of pie for restaurant reviews accounted for more than 22% of the reviews studied and included more than 70 sites.

Site Reviews (out of 4,598 studied) Percent of the Total
www.servicemagic.com 69 1.50
local.yahoo.com 29 0.63
www.yellowbot.com 19 0.41
linktown.kvue.com 6 0.13
dexknows.com 5 0.11
www.virtualtourist.com 5 0.11
www.superpages.com 4 0.09
www.lasplash.com 3 0.07
www.mojopages.com 2 0.04
www.localtailor.net 2 0.04
www.decidio.com 2 0.04
cityvoter.com 2 0.04
www.helloindianapolis.com 2 0.04
www.nextag.com 1 0.02
nymag.com 1 0.02
www.rateitall.com 1 0.02
www.igougo.com 1 0.02
www.cityguide.com 1 0.02
www.cosmotourist.com 1 0.02
11870.com 1 0.02

Methods:

  • We chose the top ten cities in the U.S. by population, but omitted any city that was already represented by another in the same state. (e.g. We omitted San Antonio and Dallas because Texas was already represented by Houston).
  • This left us with the following 10 cities:
    • New York, NY
    • Los Angeles, CA
    • Chicago, IL
    • Houston, TX
    • Phoenix, AZ
    • Philadelphia, PA
    • Detroit, MI
    • Jacksonville, FL
    • Indianapolis, IN
    • Columbus, OH
  • In each city we searched Google Maps for the following service industry queries:
    • "Carpet Cleaners"
    • "Handyman"
    • "Locksmith"
    • "Tailor"
    • "Painter"
    • "Limo Service"
  • For each query, we selected the three businesses on the first page of the search results with the most reviews.
  • We went through these reviews for each of the 18 selected businesses in the 10 selected cities and noted what site they were drawn from.
  • We collected data on 4,598 reviews, which is our sample size for this article.