How Online Reviews Can Affect Your Local Search Rankings

We trust the Internet, but even more than that, we trust the others who are using it too. When we want to grab Italian food at a great neighborhood spot, find a lawyer, buy a new car, get a unique Christmas gift—there are a million options, so how do we make a choice? When it comes to which local business to go with, it seems consumers are putting more and more faith in the reviews they read on the Internet.

Even one review can make a difference. Sites with none at all are often the first to get passed over, even one review lets a potential client know that others found you worth taking the time to comment on, and it’s this edge that you can use to your advantage.

We all know that having positive reviews, and lots of them, will help create a relationship between your business and your potential clients, helping you build trust and establish credibility—but that’s not all that online reviews can do for your business. Turns out, reviews can also play a part in your local search rankings too.

According to Mary Bowling, “Yahoo Local has said there’s a threshold for the number of reviews and that once you reach that threshold; the reviews begin to factor into your rankings.” She adds, “Of course they will not say what that threshold is,” but what it really comes down to is the simple fact that much of the time “more reviews help you to rank better.”

What’s more, when someone searches for a local service, product or business, they scan through the first options that appear in the local business results, where the number of reviews (or lackthereof) is displayed for all to see—this review count has the power to act as “eye candy,” attracting attention that can mean great things for your business.