It’s been known for some time that Google looks at reviews for long tail information and that reviews with that information would lead to Google showing local listings for those terms.
In addition to the Local pack and Map results, Google’s search results are packed with review sites and content.
The Role Of Online Reviews In Search Marketing
We also have known that it wasn’t just reviews at Google that were used to expand Google’s understanding. Google is clearly looking at reviews at multiple sites across the web to better understand any given business and using those 3rd party reviews to increase a business’s visibility in search.
So it should come as no surprise that a patent was granted to Google that details some of the ideas and architecture used in that process. Google search expert Bill Slawski did a great job covering this patent from the larger entity point of view.
These days the Google Knowledge Graph and the entities within it have grown well beyond the Places shown in Google search and Maps, but Local was the origin point for all things related to the Knowledge Graph. Local has always been the test ground and often the first to roll out features that are then applied more broadly to other entities.
That is no more true than in the online review space and the ability of review content to influence Google search results. – Read more