Insiderpages Reviews Gone From Google Maps

Greetings from Inside the SEOigloo!

This post is me jotting this down as part of an ongoing attempt to keep current with how Google Maps, and in particular, Google Reviews, are evolving.

On November 28, 2007, Mike Blumenthal published this post documenting that reviews from the outside source CitySearch had disappeared from Google Maps, causing a lot of confusion. If you visit this post and scroll down to read the comments, you will note one of Mike’s readers, Andrew Shotland, remarking on the fact that though the CitySearch reviews had gone missing, the Insiderpages reviews were still going strong.

On January 1, 2008, I wrote this post about Google Maps, in which I recorded some data about a handful of local businesses. I recorded the sources from which each of the businesses were receiving reviews. A number of them were coming from Insiderpages.

Tonight, I’ve discovered that the Insiderpages reviews are gone. Exactly like what happened with CitySearch, it appears that Google has terminated their relationship with this outside review source. As is well known, Insiderpages was acquired by CitySearch last year, so perhaps this is simply the final sweeping away of Google’s ties with this entity.

These changes leave me wondering about Google’s game plan. Could it be that, ultimately, they would like to have all reviews within Google Maps coming from their own database? As it is, sources like TripAdvisor, Dine and Guyot are making up a lot of the review data within Google Maps, but perhaps, over time, we will see that change as more people become aware of Google Reviews.

6 Responses to “Insiderpages Reviews Gone From Google Maps”

  1. on 24 Jan 2008 at 5:56 am Local SEO Guide

    Good catch. When I was at IP the Google Local/Maps review links were not a source of significant traffic (although it didn’t hurt). The increased usage of Google Maps may have changed this but the increase of other review sources may have kept the referrals down. My guess is that this is not a big loss for either Citysearch or IP but it certainly doesn’t help things. The new 10-listing local results is the Web results is what is going to cause the real damage to sites like IP that rely on Web results for a lot of traffic.

  2. on 24 Jan 2008 at 6:08 am Mike Blumenthal

    While at MacWorld I asked a Google staffer what had happened to the CitySearch reviews…they responded that they didn’t know but stated that perhpaps is was just a “realigned business relationship like happened with Yelp and the removal of their reviews”. Go figure, I hadn’t noticed the loss of Yelp reviews.

    My theory is that the lowering profile of the Google reviews is a response to the blow back on them getting into this new content creation area as opposed to them just indexing the world’s information. I think some of their “partners” are responding negatively to them and Google is thus “rethinking” the priority of their own reviews.


  3. on 24 Jan 2008 at 2:55 pm admin

    Hi Andrew –
    I have to admit…the 10 Box thing does have a faint flavor of a juggernaut rolling forward, if you are standing in the shoes of any review site that won’t be included as a resource. And yet, it’s just such a handy thing. I’m excited to see how this goes! We’ve got several clients who were in the top 3, and I wonder if this will mean less business for them now that they are only 1 of 9 other businesses. Thanks so much for commenting!

    Mike –
    Thanks for explaining your theory on this. Do you know, is the relationship between Google and, say, TripAdvisor, a monetary one? I have no idea about that. Or is it simply a content for visibility equation? I suppose in either case, the partners might grumble…

    It’s become a lot less clear to me that indexing the world’s content is Google’s purpose at present, with their tremendous influence in the world of paid advertising and business in general. They are in a position of power today that is truly astonishing.

    Thank, you, Mike, for stopping by. It is always such a treat to see you here.

  4. on 25 Jan 2008 at 9:49 am anon

    The deals with the content providers are simply for visibility. no money changes hands in either direction.

  5. on 25 Jan 2008 at 3:12 pm admin

    Hi Anon,
    Thanks for the comment. I’d like to know how you know this, if possible. It’s an interesting subject.

  6. on 28 Jan 2008 at 7:56 am critic

    Yet they still carry reviews from which is notorious for filtering out any bad review. Google is doing evil.

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