Google has launched top lists and critic reviews for local search results.
With this new update, Google is now including “Reviews from The Web”. This new feature will now bring user ratings and reviews from third party websites to the knowledge panel for all of the local spots across many verticals including restaurants, shops, parks and much more.
When the critic reviews were first introduced in August, many criticized that popular review sites including TripAdvisor or Yelp, are not eligible to be included. But, “Reviews from The Web” is intended to accept user ratings and reviews from sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, as the reviews and ratings provided here are generated by the consumers rather than ‘critics’ and ‘experts’
In mobile, reviews from the web will be visible above critic reviews and best-of-lists in a horizontal presentation. Whereas, on the desktop, it will appear in the Knowledge Panel as critic reviews do. Google has provided a screenshot to shows how it looks on phone. Publishers using Schema markup for reviews are eligible to be included.
In the first version of “Reviews from The Web”, there will be collective user ratings and reviews of up to three review sites, as shown in the screenshot above. The order of appearance is determined by relevance, as stated by Google. Reviews from the web will appear across numerous local verticals, as per the Search Engine Giant.
However, Google is still collecting their own reviews. In addition to Reviews from the web, it will also show results from three review sources, including its own, critics’ reviews and third party review sites.
Google critics may see the move as part of a larger land grab by relating it to Yelp’s criticism of critic reviews and best-of-lists. However, Google clarified this as an attempt to provide as much useful content as possible about places to local searchers.