Tag Archive for: Mike Blumenthal


You can work on building your brand’s image and marketing as much as you want, but at the end of the day bad reviews can outweigh all that hard work. We’d all like to believe that good reviews can balance out the negative, however that notion got pretty well shattered when Mike Blumenthal recently published a set of surveys strongly showing that consumers perceive that a “negative review corpus hurts a business more than positive reviews help them.

For businesses struggling with the issue of negative reviews, this news isn’t a relief. However, Blumenthal reviewed his results and noticed something interesting. Younger consumers seem to be more tolerant of bad reviews than their older counterparts.

Of course, younger consumers aren’t going to forgive a place with an outstanding number of one star reviews. But, it appears that consumers between the ages of 18-24, specifically those who are more savvy to online reviews, may be able to parse negative reviews more thoroughly rather than rejecting businesses out of hand. Rather than accepting the review at face value, they actively search for aspects that could be a deal breaker.

Obviously, the best way to handle a bad review portfolio is to directly address any valid concerns of reviewers, and encourage those who have positive experiences to review your site so that you can potentially water down the negative. But, Blumenthal’s survey suggests that reviews are always the end-all-be-all that we think they are.

Many businesses only use their Google+ Local profile for SEO. It is an important part of increasing your brand’s visibility on Google and it is incredibly easy to sign up, reap the benefits, and leave the profile alone from then on. But, it is crucial to make sure you at least set the profile up completely, otherwise you might get some interesting results.

When you leave parts of your profile empty, especially your photos, Google tends to do their best to fill in the gaps. But, this doesn’t aways have the best results. For example, take Mutt Industries from Portland. Todd Mintz spotlighted their appearance on Google Plus Local and search results.

Mutt Industries

If you don’t upload pictures to your profile, Google will just use whatever they can find to fill the spot, and it might be and entirely random photo from your WordPress content. In Mutt’s case, that random photo also seemingly shows someone doing something still illegal in the majority of states, including Oregon. Obviously the image isn’t displayed prominently on Mutt’s website. It is just a random low-quality image from their hosted content.

Mike Blumenthal also noted that their Google+ Local Page is pretty much entirely devoid of all content. It has been claimed, but there is nothing else for Google to work with. If they had added just a single photo, they likely would have avoided the mix-up altogether.

If you aren’t going to use your Google+ Local Page in an attempt to engage the community, at least be sure to add enough to make your business identifiable and allow you to have some control over how you appear to searchers. A “Full-Service Creative Agency” might not be too hurt by a stoned appearance, but you probably don’t want people to think your serious business has gone to pot when they search for you.

A few weeks ago, select Firefox users noticed a new “card” layout in the About page for local listings. Beginning Tuesday, it appears the layout has begun to roll out world wide. Mike Blumenthal explained the new layout, saying:

The big difference is that the page now can be displayed in either a single, two or three column layouts depending on browser window width as opposed to the current fixed two column display. Reviews will now follow the same columnar structure as the rest of the page and will not be limited to a current one column display. While this view is not yet visible in mobile, one assumes that if the view were to become universal it would likely push to mobile as well.

The page adds three iconic based calls to action near the top; review, directions & photos. The review summary has been moved up the page and photos have been moved down the page. Geo information including street address, category, hours, description and map are now consolidated into a single card near the top titled “Contact Information. “Similar Places” from around the web no longer show and “reviews from around the web” have been moved up the page to be nearer the top.

But, with the change has come an issue with reviews, at least temporarily. As of Tuesday, the number of reviews listed in the information for local businesses has dropped or begun to show wildly inaccurate review counts. It is unclear whether the actual reviews have disappeared or whether the counts are the only aspect to be affected, but users are reporting as much as a 30 review count drop. It is safe to assume the issue will be resolved quickly as the new layout is ironed out.

You can see the new layout below:

New Local Layout

Source: Mike Blumenthal