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25 April, 2017

The most powerful review sites for small business

How to get the most from your online reviews by leveraging the Knowledge Panel

Last update: 10 May 2017

third party reviews in knowledge panel
When you’re evaluating which online review sites to include in your reputation strategy, it makes sense to go for those that will give you the best “mileage”.  Once you start looking, you’ll soon realise there are a squillion customer review sites on the web, each one claiming they are the site you should direct customers to. Some have big names, others are quiet achievers. Some open themselves to being for any and every business, others claim their stake in specific industries.

So how do you choose?

One of the tips I give business owners is to look in Google’s Knowledge Panel.  In it, you’ll occasionally see not only Google’s reviews, but third party sites as well.  And for those of you with a long memory – yes, Google had this years ago then dropped it and now they’re baaaaack!

How to find key review sites

Well, you could do what I did with my team, and spend hours scouring the web looking up different businesses in different categories.

Or, you could use the reference tables below…

Some of the sites are available to businesses world-wide, but I haven’t spotted them in the knowledge panel in all countries. So by all means if you’re looking to build out your citations consider these. However, if you’re wanting to get the most mileage out of your reviews, then stick with ones that are either global or listed for your country or region.

citation locationsNot all sites listed under a country are exclusive to that country, we just haven’t yet found a review score for that site in other countries.

There are cases (like BeerAdvocate for example), where a site does have ratings for places around the world.  If your customers are likely to check that app for ratings or reviews, then it’s worth including in your review sites list, even if it doesn’t show review scores in the Knowledge Panel in your country.

You can encourage Google to make the connection and possibly add these sites in two ways:

  1. Use the schema.org “same as” property markup
  2. Link to these sites from your website – for example “see our reviews on xyz.com

Caveats

Please note many of the sites listed are paid services for businesses to manage the listing. So if your business has a listing with reviews and that site is popular, it may be a good investment. Many times your business can appear in sites without your knowledge. This can be because a customer has added your business, or because the review platform owners picked up your business information freely on the web, and added it to their site. No permission is required.

Be diligent with the paid reviews platform/services. Some of the sites claim ownership over the reviews left for your business, and do not allow you to use “their” reviews in your marketing. Many of them also do not allow you to download the reviews when you leave their service.

And finally – listings which have “any” listed as the industry does not necessarily mean adult, firearm or substance businesses are accepted. Check the site terms & conditions.

Countries in this study (so far)

Want more? Pop a comment below of which country you’re after and we’ll look it up!

GlobeGlobal or Multiple Countries

Tip:  While these sites may be available in all countries, whether reviews show in the Knowledge Panel or not is up to Google.

SiteCountriesIndustriesComments
Own websiteGlobalAnyHow to put Rich Snippets for Reviews on Your Website
123pages (.fr, .ch, .at, .es)EuropeMostmay be more sites undiscovered
BeanhunterGlobalCoffee Shopsnot seen in US but does list US shops. Spotted in Australia, New Zealand, UK
Bimmershops2 countriesBMW repair shopsSpotted in US & Canada
FacebookMost countriesAny Countries where Facebook is banned/censored
Foursquare19 CountriesAnyFoursquare Countries (scroll to bottom of page)
Gay CitiesMany countriesLGBT community friendlyList of cities around the world
Groupon28 CountriesMostGroupon Countries list
Houzz15 CountriesRelated to housing or a homeCountries selection at bottom of screen
OpenTable20+ CountriesRestaurants & reservations
Restaurant GuruGlobalRestaurantsPulls reviews from Yelp, Tripadvisor, Foursquare, Google and Facebook plus its own
The Knot2 CountriesWeddings & relatedCanada & USA (for suppliers). Weddings can list from seemingly anywhere.
Treatwell11 countriesBeautyUnited Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Austria, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, Latvia.  Each country has its own domain (eg treatwell.co.uk)
WeddingWireMultiple CountriesAnything wedding related
WHTopWeb HostingHave only spotted in KP in Australia, yet takes listings for companies around the world
Vagaro4 CountriesBeauty, Fitness, Some alternative health, Pet groomingAustralia, Canada, UK, USA
Vaniday5 CountriesBeauty and wellness Australia, Brazil, Italy, Singapore, UAE
Zomato23 CountriesRestaurantsZomato Countries

↑ back to countries

AustraliaAustralia Review Sites

SiteIndustries
Aged Care ReviewsAged Care
AroundYouAny
AutoGuruAutomotive Repair
TradesAimed at Brisbane & Gold Coast. Accepts listings nationally. Pay to manage.
Happiest HourFood, Beer & Drinks
ProductReviewAny. Paid to manage.
RateMyAgentReal Estate agencies and agents
True LocalAny
UntappdBeer, bars, breweries
WeTeachMeLive classes
Yellow PagesAny.  You can list your business free, pay to manage.

↑ back to countries

CanadaCanadian Review Sites

SiteIndustries
BeerAdvocateBeer, Microbreweries & Breweries
BlogTOToronto businesses
BookendaRestaurants
ChickadvisorTargeted at women, products and local places including beauty, shopping, restaurants, wellness. Has a brother site “XY Stuff” aimed at men – have not spotted reviews in the knowledge panel for that site
HomeStarsHome improvement contractors & service professionals
RestoMontrealRestaurants in Montreal (site is in French)
SkipTheDishesFood delivery & takeaway

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FranceReview Sites in France

SiteIndustries
HERE mapsConfusing, as reviews shown are actually on TripAdvisor, not maps.
L’InternauteSite covers a wide range of topics. Restaurants spotted in Knowledge Panel, but also has hotel reviews.
Mariages.netWeddings & related
Pages JaunesAny
TUV-DCTAAutomotive
ZankyouWeddings & related

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New ZealandNew Zealand Review Sites

SiteIndustries
AANew Zealand Automobile Association. Things related to cars, trips, driving, etc.
FindaAny
Happy CampingCampgrounds, Holiday parks
NoCowboysTradies
Rankers NZCamping, Rental car companies, Attractions
YellowPages® NZAny

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SingaporeSingapore Review Sites

SiteIndustries
HungryGoWhereFood and Restaurants

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United Kingdom Review Sites

SiteIndustries
192.comAny
5pmRestaurants, Health and beauty salons, Hotels
allAgentsPrimarily Real Estate
CheckatradeTrades
FreeIndexAny
GetAgentReal Estate agents
iWantGreatCareHealth Care
Site JabberAny
SolicitorInfoSolicitors
WhatClinicDoctors, dentists, beauty and cosmetic surgery, physiotherapy, fertility, holistics and more
Who Can Fix My CarAuto repairs
Yell.comAny

USA
↑ back to countries

USA Review Sites

SiteIndustries
Customer LobbyPaid Reviews Platform/Service
DemandforcePaid Reviews Platform/Service
Find Me Gluten FreeFood – Gluten Free friendly places to eat
FixrPrimarily home renovation services, does allow for other service industries
GrubHubOnline and mobile food ordering
HealthgradesInfo about physicians, hospitals and health care providers
HomeAdvisorHome Improvement Contractors
KudzuHome Services, Automotive, Health
Lawyers.comLawyers, of course
Listen360Health & Fitness, Franchise / multi-location, Services
This is a paid service for customer feedback
LocalityInitially around health, fitness & beauty, now services many industries. check the site for the specific industries. Pulls reviews from Yelp.
NearbyNowPaid Reviews Platform/Service
Recreation.govTrip planning, information sharing and reservations using federal agencies for information sources
ReviewBuzzPaid Reviews Platform/Service
RoadTrippersTrip planner
SILiveStaten Island Biz Directory
SpaFinderHealth, fitness and beauty
SuperpagesAny
ThumbtackAny
TravelPodHospitality, travel (not accepting new listings)
YP.com
Yellow Pages
Any
ZillowReal Estate – agents, lender, brokers, property management, builder, home improvement products & services
ZocdocDoctors

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Some of you may be wondering why I didn’t include sites such as Angie’s List, BBB, Epinions, and so on.  These  are good sites to list your business, and they do provide online reviews.  However Google doesn’t seem to display reviews from these sites in the Knowledge panel, so they’re excluded from this article.

WebpageFX did a nice list of 20 of those kinds of sites.  A few of theirs cross over with this list.

If you find more out there I haven’t yet catalogued, or have a country to add, feel free to add it to the comments below. I’ll keep updating this list periodically.
I’ll probably even make your comment a follow link 😉