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”. Google provides a section in the knowledge panel titled “Reviews from the web“.
Once you start looking around, 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 worth noting.
So how do you choose?
One of the tips I give business owners is to look in Google’s Knowledge Panel. In it, you will often see not only Google’s reviews, you’ll see other “third party” sites as well. And for those of you with a good memory – yes, Google had this years ago then dropped it and now they’re back. And while not perfect, they’re far, far better than they used to be.
Find the Best 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.
Not all sites listed under a country are exclusive to that country; it means we haven’t yet found a review score for that site in other countries.
There are cases (such as BeerAdvocate), where a site does have ratings for places around the world. If your customers are likely to use that app because it’s well known in your industry, then include it in your review sites.
While these sites may be available in the stated countries, whether reviews show in the Knowledge Panel is up to Google. You can encourage Google to make the connection and possibly add these sites in two ways:
- Use the schema.org “same as” property markup
- Link to these sites from your website – for example “see our reviews on xyz.com“
Paid vs Free
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.
Do your “due-diligence” 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.
Listings which have “any” listed as the industry does not necessarily mean adult, firearm or substance businesses are accepted. Check the site terms & conditions.
Sites not listed
Yelp & TripAdvisor – These two notable “big players” in the online review space you won’t see listed in “reviews around the web”. Both stop Google from showing “their” ratings and reviews as .
- And yet, TripAdvisor should certainly be on the list for any travel / experience / tourism businesses.
- Yelp should be on your list for almost any business (several sites pay to show Yelp’s reviews on their pages). And for some reason Eat24 (takeaway/home delivery) which is part of Yelp, does show occasionally.
You also won’t see Bing listed, for obvious reasons. But if you have a portion of people that visit you using that search engine, it helps to know a wee bit about it. Bing doesn’t “do” reviews like Google does – they instead leverage off of Facebook, Foursquare and Yelp.
You may be wondering why I didn’t include sites such as Angie’s List, BBB, Epinions, and so on. These may well be 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, please let me know.
One final note.
All this is done algorithmically, and algorithms have no “common sense.” Occasionally Google’s bots get something incredibly wrong, as you can see here with the “Pissed Customer” site showing in the Reviews from the web. Sites like this will only ever show very poor ratings for businesses.
If you see something like this, report it in the forum. It is Google’s intention to give a fair showing of reviews, not just negative ones.