In August of this year, Google updated its stance on critic reviews, stating that critic review will be further localized.
Prior to this, in August 2017, Google had announced that it would not support the critic reviews, however, as of now critic reviews have been partially unrolled for most local businesses, but not all.
Up until now, the information which Google has unveiled about critic reviews is the following:
- Local businesses, movies as well as books are the 3 type of searches to which critic reviews can be associated. Earlier, this was just limited to music albums, movies as well as books.
- The critic reviews can be easily embedded inside the business listings. They can be standalone review blogs as well.
- In order for the review to be considered as a critic review, there are requirements. The full address, name as well as the URL should be mentioned. Only once this information is mentioned in the review, it holds a chance to be considered as a critic review.
- Critic reviews can be aggregated across various review sites or the reviews as well. In such a case, critic reviews are drawn from user reviews.
- Google can turn the critic reviews into snippets for search results as well. The only requirement is that the snippets should be crystal clear about the opinion of the business.
- Up until now, critic reviews is a pilot feature. There are only a handful of participants which can be considered as critics. It is a highly vetted process in order to maintain quality. There is, however, a form which is provided by Google for individuals who want to be in the critic’s knowledge panel.
With all of these developments combined, it clearly indicates that Google is serious about curating critic reviews for local businesses as well as for music, books, and movies. As for the local businesses, this means that if they are able to get good critic reviews in the real world, the same can be reflected on their business listing.
Critic reviews currently might not seem significant, but as this soft-launch develops, in a near future they may gain much more importance, and should not be neglected.