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Google+ is destroying my business

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Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 6/12/12 4:48 PM
I know for a fact that I am not the only one that feels this way as I have talked to others who have also experienced the same problem. 

Everything about Google+ seems to be fine if not better than Google Places except for the removal of the stars. Ever since they removed the star ratings, my actions or clicks went from 30 - 60 or more a day to 0 - 5. I am still on the first page of Google for relevant search terms and in most cases I am also the first listing, I am also receiving the same amount of impressions as before, but the absence of the stars has caused an obvious hit on my Google Business Listing effectiveness. Injunction with that, I have seen a drastic decline in business. Is there not a way to compromise and use the Zagat reviews as well as the stars?
Re: Google+ is destroying my business SQLPerformance 6/13/12 1:33 AM
For me the no of old and new reviews shows up as a count.

The problem will be that the new review engine is skewed to drinkeries, eateries and leisure activities of the mobile web phone waving socialites.  Just look at the google places blog or whatever its called now.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 6/13/12 6:04 AM
Yeah, the new system is not appropriate for other types of businesses. They need to reincorporate the starts into their new system or use the new system for the above mentioned businesses and then use the stars for everyone else.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business techdudester 6/14/12 8:43 AM
Count yourself lucky, Doc. It could be far worse. Google Maps/Places is always screwing with my listing in one way or another. Currently, my listing is "not active" for at least three weeks while I wait for their verification postcard at my new address. The fact that I have been listed with them for over three years and have rave reviews, apparently adds zero to my credibility as a business person. In addition to this, I am constantly getting calls from the folks at Google maps (usually early in the morning before I am awake) requesting my correct address. This has been going on for six months or more. These callers do not identify themselves as being from Google, unless specifically asked. For years now, I have struggled to get good, honest reviews, followed Google's guidelines for making my listing stand out in search and tried to be a model web business citizen. Don't even get me started on how Google *permanently* canceled my Google Checkout account three years ago without any explanation as to why...
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 6/14/12 8:48 AM
Same boat man. I have had so many issues with Google places its not even funny. Went through the whole post card thing a few times, especially since we moved our shop. Updated something on our google places later on and lost all our reviews and had it down for a few months. Had to change my address (even though we had not moved) a few times because some times Google wants to see it one way then another a different day. Similar things have happened a few other times. It got to the point to where I was afraid to change my hours because I knew it would go down if I did. Anyways, I could keep going on (no calls yet, lucky there I guess), but there is no use. Right now its up and working as it should, but the absence of the stars is killing my hit rate and my business. That's the problem at hand.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business techdudester 6/14/12 9:06 AM
Before my site vanished, I had a zagat rating of 24. The only reason I did not have a 30, is because certain competitors here in New Orleans think it's really fun and profitable to trash a competitors reviews, by posing as a disgruntled customer. Google has no way as yet of preventing this. It's a fact that anyone can create a new Google account and use it to trash your ratings in less than five minutes. I think all ratings, both good and bad, should expire after two years. I also believe that Google needs some way to measure the credibility of reviewers.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 6/14/12 9:12 AM
Yeah, I finally got my first bad review . . .  from a competitor and they made it so obvious, at least to me. Anyways, I own a computer shop (obviously your a tech as well) and I tell you what, techs and shop owners are some of the most malicious and back stabbing people I have ever met. Anyways, it sucked, but I am in the process of burying it. One thing after the next you know?
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Kevin Rack 6/17/12 5:40 PM
Bad ratings from competitors is poor form. Never had it done to me but what I have seen in an increased ratings on competitors pages from fake ratings. The customer reviewed their business and their secondary business too. Its so obvious whats going on.
William Rock 6/17/12 7:22 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Google+ is destroying my business William Rock 6/17/12 7:28 PM
Can you share a link and we can take a look? Thx
Re: Google+ is destroying my business SQLPerformance 6/18/12 2:44 AM
If the competitor has done it to others as well I advise you all to post back the negative reviews to his listing so his customers can see what sort of person he is, especially effective if he has a glowing review from the same source.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business William Rock 6/18/12 5:13 AM
or before you become one of them, I would suggest filling out a spam report with Google and see what they can do ... Have Google Review this first.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business DerekInSTL 7/3/12 2:18 PM
The same thing is happening to my bathtub reglazing business. Google use to be our best source for new leads. Since these changes took effect, our NEW business has literally fallen off a cliff.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 7/3/12 2:34 PM
What I find amazing is that Best Buy is allowed to have their stars on their google+ listing . . . sounds like there is cash being exchanged for special privileged.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Linda Buquet ~ 7/3/12 3:05 PM
Can you post a screenshot of the stars you see on the Best Buy listing?

Adwords Express ads still have stars - so those are indeed paid ads. But if you are seeing stars on a regular listing I would like to investigate.

Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 7/3/12 3:19 PM

Of course they have a paid ad as well, but their stars should be on their ad, not their google+ listing.

Re: Google+ is destroying my business DerekInSTL 7/3/12 3:26 PM
So does this mean if I purchase some paid ads with Google, I will regain my stars on Google+ Local, even when I am not paying? Because I would do that in a heart beat. We use to get 65% - 75% of our new leads from Google. So anything we can do to counter act, these draconian changes, that are destroying several small companies I know, would be worth considering.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Flash (RER) 7/3/12 3:29 PM
Those are not Places stars, those are search results.  Half of them are Yelp pages, not Best Buy pages.  Both Best Buy and Yelp have a review with rating system occuring on their sites, you can match up (generally) the stars and number of reviews with what is on their site.  I say generally because it appears each has had a few more reviews since it was last indexed in the search; which is another indication that these are just search results.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 7/3/12 3:30 PM
Not from my understanding. We paid for the Google Adwords Express and the stars show up on the ads, but not on the google+ listing. My ads don't always show up on the search results (paying for the most expensive package mind you) so unless my ad shows up in the search results every time like my google listing does, then its fairly worthless. The only real solution to this problem is to bring back the stars for Google+ listings regardless of whether or not we pay for Google Adwords Express . . . obviously Best Buy found a way to pay them off.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 7/3/12 3:33 PM
Im sorry, your comment does not make much since. Those reviews associated with the stars are google reviews not yelp or Best Buy. I used to have stars just like this for my google reviews and listing till they changed it to Google+. Regardless of all that, I want my stars to show up in the "search results" for google+ just as it did in the past.

Also, I just checked and for the Jacksonville listing, there is 2 reviews for yelp, not 15. Like I said, from what I can tell, those stars are directly associated with the google place reviews.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Flash (RER) 7/3/12 3:40 PM
Those reviews associated with the stars are google reviews not yelp or Best Buy.

Maybe in the past, but not anymore.  Click on each link.  On the first one it says on the Google Search results 2.5 stars and 11 reviews.  Click to go to the actual Best Buy page, and on there they have their own review system that shows:

Customer Feedback & Reviews

2.5 star rating (out of 5) 2.5 of 5

You can keep doing that for each link.  The Yelp ones also match up with the Yelp score results.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 7/3/12 3:43 PM
So, what you are trying to say is, there is a way that I can get a review plugin for my site that will actually show up in the Google search results as star? Even if that is the case, that still does not solve our problem. Many of us have worked hard to get those reviews and to get those stars shining as bright as possible, only to have them ripped off by Google.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Flash (RER) 7/3/12 3:51 PM
I doubt that Google Search will believe just anyone's review plugin.  This one actually seems honest; their giving their own store a lousy score.

I can sympathize with your situation, but there is no "solution" to your problem.  Google is constantly evolving what they use and display, and never gave any guarantees that something would be static.   As long as the old system and the new system are applied equally to you and your competition, then you are on a fair footing.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 7/3/12 3:58 PM
There is a solution . . . it was working great in fact. I understand that there are no guarantees and I would never be one of those people who are stupid enough to suggest suing google over a free service, so don't get me wrong, but it really has affected our business as well as many others and for no good reason. Some times things that aren't broken shouldn't be fixed.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Flash (RER) 7/3/12 4:02 PM
It was working great for you.  The problem is, you aren't Google's customer.  The end users of Maps and Search is Google's customer.  So they will constantly tweak things to please those customers.  They are experts at it, they wouldn't have done it unless research showed that it enhanced the end user trust and experience, and most importantly generated more clicks on the ads due to eyes being on the pages longer and more frequently.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 7/3/12 4:14 PM
You do know that our clicks went down about 80% right? So has many others that I have spoken with as well as those who have posted in this topic. We are Google's customers, which is why I think they did make the change  . . . to force us to pay for the stars by paying for Google Adwords Express. Which, fine, I understand. I am also in business to make money, but I do not want to pay for ads that are unnecessary (because of our SEO, we are ranked the highest for relevant searches in our area) just to get the stars back. If anything, I would pay for the stars to display on our Google+ listing rather than pay for ads that don't always show up for relevant searches.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Flash (RER) 7/3/12 4:23 PM
No, I'm sorry, but you are not Google's customer.  The end user is the ones bringing in the dollars.  There are plenty of directories out there with very few end users; but here you are at Google, because it is the end users that matter.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 7/3/12 4:32 PM
You are absolutely right, I must be paying the mafia or something . . . and all this time, I thought I was paying Google hundreds of $$$ for my Google Ads . . . 
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Martin2UK 7/3/12 4:58 PM
Google destroyed our business. few months ago they deleted our business listing because we didn't hide the address. they didn't give us any sort of change to hide the address. Now we hide the address but business listing wont be back, its been 3 months. Google simply doesn't care about small business. 
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Martin2UK 7/3/12 4:59 PM
Flash you are wrong. its businesses bringing the dollars. we buy adwords , not end users. 
Re: Google+ is destroying my business SQLPerformance 7/3/12 5:23 PM
@Martin  Once you have hidden your address did you go to the Help Articles and use Incorrect information to say the entry was not appearing in search which would trigger a review and get you back in search.  A two week wait for a response at the moment.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Flash (RER) 7/3/12 5:24 PM
Make up your mind, you keep saying you don't need to buy Adwords because you rank so high, and the problem is you're not getting the clicks from that ranking anymore; then you say you are they one paying hundreds of dollars to Google for ads.

Martin - There are plenty of other directories out there that you can pay to be on, and can then completely customize your listing to be exactly what you want it to be.  Hardly any businesses use them, because hardly any end users come to them.  The plain fact is that Google has always kept the ads clearly separate and have not offered any pay support options, pay for stars options, etc. because that would quickly get rid of the trust the public has in the results.  You may buy the ads, but the are CPC, and so what matters in the end is that the end user, the customer, clicks on that ad.  You are not Google's customer, but rather in a way you are being offered a limited partnership to gain access to their customers.  It is extremely limited; as in you have no say in how it is run, as they are the experts and they are looking at the big picture, not their individual partners.  But partners you are; it is the end users that are spending money while you and Google are both in this to make money.

The services Google offers must bring in end users and must entice them to click.  That is the final goal, and while they will try to mitigate upset "partners" along the way, they will not go with a method that erodes trust they've earned or prevents them from being the industry leader simply to please those partners.  And that is the right choice in the end, as soon as you cater your service to the businesses and advertiser, the viewing public will move on; and neither you nor Google will make money.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 7/5/12 7:38 AM
Flash, your bit of an idiot arent you? We rank high, which is great. However, being able to see the stars draws peoples attention to our local business listing . . . are  you really that stupid or did you just not read the first few posts?
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Flash (RER) 7/5/12 8:26 AM
Explaining something makes me an idiot?  I never said you were wrong about the number of clicks you are getting.  YOU never explained that it was in the main Google Search window to which you were referring.  Now it makes more sense; a move from a score out of 5 to a score out of 30 that is applied to all on Places pages should make no difference at all.  You confused Linda also with that statement.

In the end, my explanation stands; it is probably the closest thing to Google's thinking, which is what I was trying to convey.  Things evolve there all the time, I will not dispute that the main search window display change probably changed your clicks, but I also don't foresee them changing it.  What you might hope for is that some day they might include the zagat score there.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business techdudester 7/5/12 12:56 PM
Yep, as a rule of thumb ... whenever dealing with ANY service in the Googleplex except possibly Adwords, you better bring along all the "hope springs eternal" you got!
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 7/5/12 1:09 PM
Sorry, just getting kinda annoyed with this whole situation. The fact is, it really has affected the number of clicks our business listing has been getting, which in turn has affected the number of calls we get and the number of people who see our reviews. Like I said, we went from a 30 to 60 clicks a day to 0 to 5 a day immediately as soon as the stars were removed. Anyways, I apologize again . . . just felt like you kinda just jumped in there without reading all the details.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Dr. Rodney McKay 7/5/12 1:10 PM
Yeah tech, I realize that, I was just hoping to get enough momentum here for google to see that it was in fact an issue. Maybe people have not realized it yet and they will chime in later . . .  we'll see.
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Smith Jones 11/19/12 1:34 PM
Google keeps removing local listing on me. They keep calling and even if I answer their questions accurately.... they remove my listing! There has got to be a reason!! Is it happening to all of us? or to just conservative people/business's ??  Looking for a reply from you all. 
Re: Google+ is destroying my business Jade W. 11/19/12 4:26 PM
@Smith Jones, if you'd like help from the community here, try making a new post with all the information that's requested. That way, we can look into the issue.
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