By: Chris Tabb
Google has been busy lately; most recently, the internet tycoon launched “Place Topics” review feature on Google Maps as part of Google My Business (GMB).
Place Topics mines data from user reviews to provide relevant and concise feedback for your dealership. The purpose of this new feature is to use information from existing customers to help new customers gauge the quality of your customer service, prices, etc.
How Does Place Topics Work?
Place Topics works by summarizing all of your customer reviews and organizing them into category tags. Keywords used frequently in reviews will become trend tags over time. This system makes it easy for potential customers to evaluate your business through common customer experiences.
A unified review section on Google Maps will include all topic tags in a single consolidated list. Each tag will be referenced with a number to show how frequently it shows up in reviews.
When Are Place Topics Created?
Topics will only be created when there are a sufficient amount of customer reviews for your dealership. Google’s algorithm also needs a sufficient number of identical keywords to show up for the tags to be created. The goal here is to ensure that the tags accurately represent your business, and protect smaller businesses if they experience a small number of negative reviews. That also means Google won’t generate review tags on demand if you don’t have enough reviews. Also, make sure that you flag all reviews with abusive language so Google knows to exclude it from tags.
Place Topics is not designed to replace existing My Business reviews; users are still able to open a Business Profile directly and read all the reviews. Users will also be able to choose reviews based on particular topics by clicking on a particular tag.
Place Topics Control & Feedback
Like many other features in Google My Business, Place Topics could be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on the content in the reviews. Business owners don’t need to manage Place Topics, it’s a completely automated feature in GMB.
While many business owners won’t like the lack of control over the tags created, it is consistent with Google reviews and other features designed to provide immediate and honest feedback. Of course, marketers will figure out ways to optimize this feature over time. However, as always, the best way to control what’s tagged for your business is to provide the best customer service possible to get positive reviews.