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.