Google Shows Reviews in New Search Overlay, Offers 'Perks' to Reviewers

It looks like Google is making some changes to the local search results again. LocalSEOGuide.com spotted changes in the search results on July 30 that indicate a new direction from Google.

When you click on the reviews link for a local listing, an overlay pops up instead of taking you to the business’s Google+ page.

Google Review Overlay

Andrew Shotland of Local SEO Guide gave his initial commentary on the new functionality, including the following:

"There’s a review sort and a prominent ‘write a review’ button. Pro Tip: Google wants you to write a review."

On the same day Shotland posted his discovery, we saw a Google+ post from Google Local New York about Google City Experts, a new program that incentivizes reviews on Google Maps:

Become a Google City Expert

On a similar note, Google also plans to kill the Google+ Local app for iOS on August 7 in favor of the Google Maps app for Android.

About the author

Jessica Lee is a marketer specializing in web content strategy and B2B/B2C writing. Since 2005, Jessica has been in the business of content and communications, with the past several years focused on the web marketing space.

Prior to launching her consulting business, bizbuzzcontent, Jessica was responsible for content strategy, development and marketing for Bruce Clay Inc. – a global SEO firm, where she served small businesses and Fortune 500 clients. Jessica's background also includes positions in traditional marketing, communications, broadcasting and publishing.

Jessica has a bachelor's in communications and public relations from San Diego State University. She also contributed to the book “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies” 2nd edition.