Google’s New Review Model
Google made some announcements today that they will not be aggregating 3rd party reviews in to the place pages. They have now added a “write a review” button that is much more visible thus encouraging users to talk about your business.
You may have noticed before that reviews from sites like Yelp would be merged in with Google reviews. They will no longer support this so you may notice the number of reviews in your Place drop. For some places like hotels this was a significant drop of over 100 reviews.
Google’s long tem vision for local search is to include more personalized results which is where Google+ will come in to play.
As a business owner you should be directing your clients to your Google Places page to input positive reviews. Places with a high number of positive reviews tend to attract more attention and in some cases rank higher (even though Google won’t admit that)
Google’s plans for business integration sounds very exciting and will likely merge your place page with you Google+ giving you a great marketing tool so be sure to stay in the loop on the new developments at Google+ for both business and personal use.