A brief, but pointedly confused, open letter to Google.
We, local, online marketers do love you. You have brought us great innovation in organizing the world’s information. You have brought many local businesses the opportunity to capture new customers and advertise on a fairly even playing field (budget aside) with the big boys. But, why oh why, would you confuse your user and your local advertisers by removing any reference to dates on your now notorious Google Places + Local Pages (naming confusion intended).
I do give you much credit. I do believe your team is top-notch. I do wish I had folks like Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts on my team. In this most recent change, however, I am perplexed.
I use Google to find information… recent, relevant, timely, etc. etc. If I am researching potential purchases and comparing Business A to Business B, how could I not benefit from knowing when a review was made? Maybe Business A used to be abysmal but listened to the consumer feedback and has since changed. Maybe Business B used to be a shining beacon of consumer satisfaction but made some poor hiring decisions that have since diminished its previous standards of customer satisfaction. But how do I know? Without dates on these reviews, how do I know if a business has improved its service over time or not?
I have been flexible and changed with you from 5 stars to 4 words to 30 points etc., but this change has really hurt me.
I need more customers.
I like Google because I can use it to get more customers. I want my customer experience to be transparent. I want consumers to be happy.
How on earth can I engage with my own listing page, understand and participate in a strategy that leaves no reference to time?
Please. Dear Google. Help.
Google, you can contact me with an explanation at [email protected]. I’d be happy to reply using my Android phone. I’ve included screenshots and links to various businesses affected by this change, in multiple industries.
General Product Manager
Dominion Dealer Solutions