Google’s research has indicated that having reviews on your Google listing resulted in a 140% increase in driving directions and a 350% increase in web site visits from the local search results. It stands to reason that having more Reviews from the web show prominently on your brand Knowledge Panel (KP) would have a similar affect.
How Do The Reviews From The Web Work?
Like all things Google, “Reviews from the web” are based on an algorithm and unlike most things in the local Knowledge Panel result, they are dynamic. The general rules seems to be that if Google finds a 3rd party review site or a page from your website with rich snippets ranking on the first page they will be included in the Knowledge Panel display.
Of course, as with all Google algorithms there are ifs ands and a few buts….Google may show none, one, two or as many as three reviews sites in the Knowledge Panel display for your business. Even for the same company but on slightly different searches.
Yelp and TripAdvisor pages which often rank well for brand searches and have review snippets are not shown in the KP display. This is likely related to their long standing dispute with Google over “stealing” their review content. It seems from my brief research that BBB consumer reviews do not show either for some reason.
Because the display depends on and seems to only show review snippets that occur high in the branded search results, typically on the first page of the search, you will find that sometimes slight variations in brand searches might result in different reviews from around the web being shown.
A Look At Two Versions Of Reviews From The Web
These two searches demonstrate the point; Barbara Oliver & Co Jewelry and Barbara Oliver Jewelry. Barbara recently renamed her company to Barbara Oliver Jewelry. Her YP.com listing has not yet been updated and ranks well on her old name but not her new one and thus doesn’t show up on the latter search.
|search: Barbara Oliver & Co Jewelry||search: Barbara Oliver Jewelry|
Tips For Maximizing Reviews From The Web On Your Knowledge Panel
The goal from a conversion optimization point of view is to always have your Knowledge Panel show your reviews from the maximum three websites around the web. Here are some ideas to consider:
1- Start with a little research. Do some searches on variations of your brand name and see how many review sites are showing on the first page and that show in the Knowledge Panel for that location. See if it changes depending on exactly how you do the searches.
2- If none are showing on all of the search variations consider expanding the reach of your review management requests beyond Google or TripAdvisor. Add Facebook and other review sites that are ranking well for your business to your review management plan that will show in the Knowledge Panel like YP.com or Zomato.
3- Consider adding review capabilities to your site. The goal is obviously to have three review sites show all the time and if you can get your site reviews to pick up the rich snippets in the search results you have the benefit of the Google eye candy PLUS the benefit of SEO from the user generated content.
We’d be silly not to note that GetFiveStars and our Testimonial Widget allows you to do just that.
4- If you experience something like Barbara Oliver Jewelry where they show sometimes and not others, determine the cause. Be sure that naming discrepancies between high ranking review sites have been fixed and that your NAP (name, address and phone) is consistent. They are then more likely to rank on naming variations.
5- If you find that you are showing only two review sites from around the web but really want to show three, investigate page two of the brand search results for your brand name search and see if a review site is ranking highly there. If it is, do some “barnacle marketing” and consider linking to that page from your site to elevate it to first page of your branded search results.
Put Your Best Reputation Forward
Obviously the goal in reputation development is to put your best foot forward and to be sure that the best you is reflected in the Google search results. Given that the Knowledge Panel for your business has such high visibility you want to insure that you focus on it and attempt to maximize the message that it carries.