The recent Google Places update has caused businesses to re-evaluate their review strategy. I’ve been commenting bits and pieces of my online review strategy recommendation here and there to correct bad info/assumptions/decisions ever since the big Google Places update hit last week. I’ve been talking to a LOT of Dentists for example, who are saying they plan to drop important review services and focus all their energy on getting Google Places reviews. I tell them this is a bad strategy.

I’ve had people (mainly Dentists) ask me if I could write a big huge detailed article about review strategies and why I say it’s still important to diversify. Dentists have been asking me for this, due to my Tuesday post about the whole DemandForce review issue.

In a nutshell I’ll share just a very brief overview of my thoughts. Don’t have time to write a book about it right now. But then I’m going to share a detailed article that REALLY explains online review strategies well and parallels my thoughts on the matter.

I still STRONGLY believe the best review strategy is to diversify and spread reviews over 3 – 4 authority review sites. (Which ones depend in part on your market). That’s the strategy I recommend in my building patient reviews training I offer my Dental clients. In spite of this latest Google update, that’s the strategy I will continue to recommend.

Google VERY OFTEN loses their own reviews. Go to the forum and you’ll see hundreds of small businesses crying that they spent YEARS building up Google reviews and had all their reviews in Google’s basket and Google lost them all – HUNDREDS sometimes.

If you put all your eggs in Google’s basket and she eats them, then you are screwed as far as the algo goes.

It’s important to keep in mind that Google is still counting all 3rd party reviews on the back end – as far as a ranking factor. For more info about the rankings and algo See: Google Places July Update Aftermath – Important Insights After the Dust Settles

Mike Ramsey just did a really great job explaining the best Google review strategy at Search Engine Journal and you just need to click over to see the image. It’s classic!

MUST READ: The 3 Pillars of Local Search Reviews

There are new things being added, subtracted, re-arranged, re-named, left unfinished, and stolen all the time in the industry. We have seen the rise of deals, check-ins, mainstream local results in SERP’s, review fights between the giants, and countless other methods of connecting local businesses to customers.

Because of this, the local search industry has developed the phenomena of “storm chasers”. Meaning those that will change their strategy often. Run to every new update, and try to be the first to find the “secret” that will cash out quickly until the next big storm comes.