how to benefit (or not suffer) from Google news

Both reviews and Google Business Profile Pictures are now moderated via AI, for better or for worse.

In 2022, some interesting new features appeared for local SEO, marked by the end of Google My Business, now Google Business Profile, or the arrival of “Live View”, which allows your smartphone to report precise things thanks to augmented reality.

Some of these changes can improve your visibility in the SERP. Which is not nothing, for example for companies with a physical store. For the record, a Brightlocal study shows that in 2020, 93% of consumers searched online to find a local business. About one-third of respondents performed this survey daily and more than two-thirds weekly. Here are three ways to take advantage of these new features…or not suffer from them.

How do I still get reviews despite Google’s new review filter?

For the past few months, Google has been filtering reviews via its AI. This includes reviews that violate its rules, but also a number of legitimate reviews. “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in reviews not appearing on a profile, reviews removed, and entire categories of businesses no longer eligible to receive reviews,” said SEO consultant Mike Blumenthal. local search for Near Media. This can be detrimental to your business as 87% of consumers read reviews according to a recent study by Brightlocal.

How to explain this? Mike Blumenthal finds it difficult to know the reason for the removal of reviews. For him, AI is really using learning data that Google has introduced via spam comments. This creates an internal logic on the models of these statements that is difficult to know. However, Mike Blumenthal notes that, as with all AI, there are “false positives”, meaning that Google can make mistakes, which he says can amount to 30%.

Many businesses feel helpless in the face of this, especially in the US, where laws on fake reviews are less draconian than in France. Especially since the lack of help from Google is felt. According to a study conducted by Mike Blumenthal, the removal of reviews will be affected by factors such as the business category, real estate and the legal sector, which are more affected than others; or on the date of creation of the company’s establishment register, the latest being the most heavily penalized by AI.

What to do ? If reviews deemed legitimate have been removed, Jamey Lee, CMO and co-founder of LocalRanker, advises contacting Google, showing the affected reviews with screenshots and trying to demonstrate their legitimacy.

Mike Blumenthal suggests approaching Google with caution. According to him, it might make sense for companies with few reviews to try to restore them here. He also advises making a copy of your reviews to return to Google in case of deletion deemed wrongful. To make the American search engine less important, he also recommends using a tool like GatherUp, which allows users to be asked to write reviews on sites other than Google.

How to submit images that are not filtered by Google?

The US search engine is increasingly using images and videos in local search results, according to Mike Blumenthal. “Google has doubled down on the inclusion of images in search results. In fact, 36% of mobile search results are images, up from 0% just four years ago. Google is now showing images that match the searcher’s intent.

To avoid having to be filtered via AI due to images that do not meet Google’s standards, various actions can be implemented. To understand the content of the image, “the Alt attribute of the image is no longer enough for Google”, evokes Jamey Lee. “Now it knows how to recognize images. Just look at the Google Photos API to see.”

In order not to be caught in the trap of Google’s filter, Mike Blumenthal explains: “It has become essential for companies to regularly upload images that reflect the products and services they offer. And before doing so, to check that Google understands the content of the picture well.”

The code word for overcoming the filter’s obstacle therefore seems to be relevance, both in substance and form. “We also ask our customers to avoid uploading an image from an image bank,” adds Jamey Lee. “It’s about prioritizing real images, of good quality. Also avoid screenshots, GIFs, photoshopped images, blurry images or those with text written on them. There must also be consistency between photos on the company listing and on the site. For example, images must of a hamburger restaurant appears on its listing and website.”

How do I use the Live View feature in Google Maps?

The Live View function in Google Maps makes it possible to display elements in close surroundings while walking around with your smartphone thanks to augmented reality. The user can, for example, display the location’s opening hours and the degree of prosperity. Note that this feature has been implemented since last November in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Paris and Tokyo.

Although live view is quite limited at the moment and does not necessarily play a big role in terms of SEO, it is not forbidden to try to take advantage of it. “So the most important thing is to make sure his location marker takes people to the right place to enter his business,” says Mike Blumenthal. “The company should also verify this information on other map services such as Apple, Here and Uber so that customers can easily find it. There is really no worse customer experience than ending up in the bin from the alley behind the store, unable to enter it.”

At the level of the information mentioned by “Live View” about the company, “if things are well optimized at the level of the establishment sheet, the collection of opinions or even images, there should be no problems.”, launches Jamey Lee .

It remains to be seen whether “Live View” will become a leading means of navigation. “It is currently limited to major metropolitan areas, e.gyou requires the user to give Google access to their privacy to use it,” says Mike Blumenthal. “These two issues may limit their adoption in the short term.

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