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Do Google Reviews Increase SEO Ranking?

What is an SEO Ranking?

Do Google Reviews Increase SEO Ranking?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is the process of improving your website to increase its visibility for relevant searches. When your website has better visibility in search results, you will generate more attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.

How Does Google Determine Local Ranking?

Local results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. A combination of these factors helps Google find the best match for your search. This is why having a continuous flow of new and positive reviews is important to elevate and keep your business at the top of Google’s map pack.


Relevance refers to how well a local Business Profile matches what someone is searching for. Add complete and detailed business information to help Google better understand your business and match your profile to relevant searches.


Distance considers how far each potential search result is from the location term used in a search. If a user doesn’t specify a location in their search, Google will calculate distance based on what we do know about their location.


Prominence refers to how well known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local ranking. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands are also likely to be prominent in local search results.

Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business, from across the web, like links, articles, and directories. Google review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’ local ranking.

How Do We Know Online Google Reviews Help Search Rankings?

When Google looks into a website, one of the goals is to measure the site using E-A-T: Expertise, Authority, and Trust. Google reviews play a large role in Trust. Positive reviews from real local customers signal to Google that your business has that trustworthiness the algorithm is looking for. Darren Shaw of Whitespark released findings from his annual Google Local Rankings Survey, showing that reviews accounted for over 15% of how Google ranks a local business.

Google reviews

Why Do Google Reviews Help SEO?

Local customer reviews build trust

Google trusts what other people say about a business much more than what a company may say. In return for the social endorsement, the algorithm rewards your website with greater visibility.

Good customer ratings drive more traffic!

For many people who search online, a business’s Google reviews mean everything. According to BrightLocal, 63% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 stars or more. If your business has a solid star rating with lots of informative and positive reviews, searchers are more likely to trust and click on your website. This added traffic sends a signal to Google that your website is authoritative, and thus worthy of a strong search ranking.

Local reviews tell Google what your site is about

Having detailed descriptions on all of your pages is essential to good SEO. These full descriptions make it easier for Google to recognize and understand your website; in turn, this increases the likelihood Google will serve up your website for online searchers.

The online reviews that your customers leave do the exact same thing. Not only do your Google reviews let Google’s robots know what your site’s all about, but your customers can even fill in gaps that your website’s content may have missed.

Google Confirms Responding to Reviews Improves your Local SEO

According to the Google My Business support page, businesses should “interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business.” This statement is then followed by “high-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.”

Not only does responding to reviews build trust with your customers, but it builds trust with the search engine itself. Google only wants to recommend the most credible businesses to their customers. What better credibility indicator than a business that goes above and beyond by publicly responding to complaints, as well as, thanking their praises. Google is encouraging businesses to respond to reviews in order to improve their local SEO.

Update your business info for better visibility

You may find that your business doesn’t show up for relevant searches in your area. To maximize how often users find your business in local search results, ensure that your business information in Google My Business is accurate, complete, and engaging.

Enter Complete Data

Local results favor the most relevant results for each search. Businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches. Be sure you keep your information up to date as your business changes.

Make sure you’ve entered complete business information in Google My Business, so users know what you do, where you are, and when they can visit. Provide information like, but not limited to, your: Physical address, Phone number, and Category.

Verify Your Locations

Verify your business locations so they’re more likely to show in local search results across Google products, like Maps and Search.

Keep Your Hours Accurate

Update your business hours regularly, including when you open and close, and special hours for holidays and events. Accurate hours info lets shoppers know when you’re available and gives them confidence that your business will be open when they arrive.

Add Photos

To showcase your goods and services, and to tell the story of your business, add photos to your Business Profile. Accurate and appealing pictures may also show shoppers that your business offers what they’re searching for.

Google reviews affect your SEO, so do what you can to garner and highlight positive reviews, follow up on negative ones, and use your Google My Business reviews to their full potential.


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