For this edition of our Review Site Series, we wanted to focus on review sites with mobile apps. As many of you may already know, many mobile maps apps allow you to view reviews right within the app. And now there are even more ways to view reviews when you are mobile, as discussed in one of our previous blog posts, here.
However, mobile business search results seem to be an entirely different beast from the typical search engines that we have become accustomed to within typical web browsers. (Which, in and of themselves, are continuously evolving.)
As an example, we did a quick search for “pizza” near us on several different mobile apps, and these were our findings:
Searching “pizza” on Google Maps turned up these results.
We found it odd that D’Amore’s Pizza Express appeared before Maria’s Italian Kitchen even though it was further and had a lower rating. So we clicked on the results to see if perhaps the reviews were more recent for D’Amore’s Pizza Express than the reviews for Maria’s Italian Kitchen.
Comparing the two side-by-side shows that the reviews for D’Amore’s Pizza Express are in fact older than the reviews for Maria’s Italian Kitchen, making its prominence even more bizarre.
Performing a search on MapQuest immediately brought up the closest location matching the search, which interestingly enough, was not even in the top search results for Google Maps. Clicking “Show More” also does not bring up a list of business, but rather pin drops on a map of all the nearest pizza places.
Performing the same search on Apple Maps populated the same result. Also interestingly, the results are pulled from Yelp and are completely different selections than the ones displayed for Google Maps. It also does not display the distance directly next to the result; you actually have to click on it to find out the distance. The average star ratings for the results for Apple Maps also seems to be lower than the results for Google Maps.
-Distance seems to be the first factor determining search results.
-Star rating seems to be the second factor determining search results.
-Recency of reviews seems to be the third and final factor determining search results, although not consistent in every test case, as outlined above.