The importance of generating positive reviews have always been important. Whether on your own website or on third party reviews sites, these reassure hesitant shoppers and give them the confidence to buy.

Reviews became even more important earlier this year when Google decided to start including them within AdWords creative.

And now it seems like there’s another reason: Google may also be using online reviews as a signal to help rank your website in the organic search results.

What about Bad Reviews?

This news emerged following a story in the New York Times about how a merchant with bad reviews was ranking highly due – apparently – to those reviews alone.

The idea of merchant’s benefiting from bad reviews was quickly analysed and dispelled by Google, who updated their algorithm so that the no-one could benefit from having complaining customers.

Google has for a long time gathered together merchant reviews – you can see how they’re displayed on Google product search in this screenshot.

Various pros including those at Search Engine Land have summarised that Google does in fact use these reviews to help organise the results pages, although there’s no official confirmation of this from Google.

Google’s blog update on the matter said:

“In the last few days we developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article along with hundreds of other merchants that, in our opinion, provide a extremely poor user experience. The algorithm we incorporated into our search rankings represents an initial solution to this issue, and Google users are now getting a better experience as a result.”

Whatever role reviews are playing in rank organisation, the message is clear: Generate authentic positive reviews. These will help boost conversion rates, boost CTR of your AdWords ads, and may well boost your organic rank too.

We really appreciate positive feedback too. If you have time, and if you think it’s appropriate, please let others know what you think of 123-reg by rating and reviewing our service in one of these locations:

http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews92855.html
http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/internet-sites/123-reg-co-uk/reviews/
http://www.ciao.co.uk/123_reg_co_uk__5111134
http://www.hostratings.co.uk/host_review.php?id=3

You can also give us feedback on http://twitter.com/#!/123reg and http://www.facebook.com/123regfans.

Nick Leech runs Digital Marketing Agency Euston Digital

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