Updated: March 3, 2017
Google is actively changing the dynamic of Google+, Google My Business, and the Review feature. Google Review links with a “1” at the end no longer work on mobile devices. To ensure potential clients can read reviews no matter where they are, learn how to update your Google Review link URL.
Quick Guide to Google Review Links
The new Google+ layout changes how you can link to your business reviews, so it’s important to know how you can create a link to send customers directly to your Google Reviews with the quick steps below.
For full details, skip down to the step-by-step tutorial.
Important: Use a search query that pulls your business information up on the Knowledge Graph. Your Business Name + Address should work.
Step 2. Click on “Write a Review”
Step 3. Copy the URL from your browser bar
Step 4. Paste into a text document and remove the unneccessary parameters (ex. safe=, ie=, sourceid=)
Step 5. Change the end of the URL to “,2”
Important: Skipping this step will break the link on mobile! If you use a “,1” at the end, it will not work on mobile devices.
Step 6. Test this new URL on desktop and your phone, and if successful, it’s ready to use!
Bonus Step: Create a 301 redirect to a more shareable URL, like www.yourbusiness.com/review
Changes to Google Reviews & Google+
Last November, Google announced the roll out of a new Google+ page layout. Whether or not you like the layout, the important issue is this: The URL you were using to send customers to leave a Google Review no longer works.
When you look at the new layout, you’ll see that many features have been removed, including reviews. Now, not only does the old URL no longer work, but the new G+ design makes it difficult for customers to find and leave reviews.
New G+ Layout
Old G+ Layout
This change didn’t happen overnight. Google has been making steps towards removing reviews from the G+ network, like removing the “Reviews” tab and putting customer reviews under the “About” tab.
Where can people find my business reviews under the new G+ layout?
To send customers to your business reviews on the old G+ layout, you’d add “&review=1” to your G+ URL, to create a link like this:
Because the reviews are no longer part of G+, this old method does not work and the URL is now broken. Now, people access your reviews directly through Google’s Knowledge Graph on the search engine. This means the user must actually go to Google.com and search for your business. The search must be specific enough to pull up the business in the Knowledge Graph. There, they can view existing reviews or leave one of their own.
This can be a pain for customers. Most people want the most direct way to do something, so adding any extra steps may deter them from fulfilling this action. If you take a moment to go through the extra steps (so that your customers don’t have to), you’ll open yourself up to more reviews – an incredibly valuable asset for any business!
How can I send customers directly to leave me a Google Review?
There is a way to send users directly to your Google Reviews, but it isn’t as easy as before. This new URL bypasses your G+ page altogether, and utilizes the search engine itself to get to your businesses’ Google Reviews – no more worrying about the next new features (or removal of features!) that Google pushes out to its G+ community.
How to link to Google Reviews on the new G+ layout
There are a few different ways you can craft the URL that can send people to view or leave Google Reviews of your business. After testing various ways using all different types of businesses, here are instructions on our favorite method to create a URL for your Google Reviews:
Find Your Business
The first step is to search for the business using the company name and address. Including both the name and address ensures that, no matter where the user is searching from, the right business shows up. For this example, we’re using English to Spanish Raleigh, a local translation company.
Get the Review URL
In the G+ Knowledge Graph box on the right-hand side of the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs), click “Write a Review”.
Copy the URL
With the Review box popped up on your screen, copy the URL from your browser and paste into a Word Doc, text file, or other way you can edit the URL.
Edit the Parameters
Condense the URL down to only the query (q=) and the lrd (lrd=).
(In this step, we deleted the text in red so that the URL was condensed down to what you see above.)
Add the 2nd “LRD”
Add the 2nd lrd (lrd=) to the URL. To do this, simply copy the “&lrd=…” from the URL in Step 4, and paste it at the end of it.
Note: For some browsers and devices, leaving the URL with a single “lrd” parameter is enough to pull up the Review box. It’s not fool proof, though, so the additional “lrd” tag is required in the URL.
PASTE AT THE END:
Change the “1” to a “2”
Using a “2” at the end of the URL
Using a “1” at the end of the URL
Test the Final URL
Test the final URL on your phone and different browsers.
Send Customers to Your Google Reviews
You’re ready to share your new Google Review URL to your customers! Email it out, put it on your website, post it on social media… Let the power of user-generated content work its magic!
Take a look at all the trouble this one Google+ redesign has caused:
BEFORE (Old Way):
AFTER (New Way):
This is not the only way to link to your Google Reviews. Here are two other methods that you may prefer.
USING THE PARAMETER “ludocid”
Example A: Pro-Line Trailers
Example B: The Doyle Law Offices, P.A.
TOOLS & AUTOMATIC GENERATORS
In response to the “disappearance” of G+ reviews, and the resulting issue of broken review links, the community came together and developed tools to automatically generate new links. One popular tool is https://www.grade.us/home/labs/google-review-link-generator.
For certain businesses, this is not always the best route to go. It also does not include the same parameters that our “TheeMethod” has. Crafting the URL yourself using the parameters in our tutorial above is a much safer route to ensure customers can easily find your business and access your reviews.
Take Me Back to the Old G+!
Had enough of the new G+ layout? For now, you’re still able to toggle back between the original layout and the new design.
Changing back to the old G+ is easy:
- Simply click “Back to Classic G+” down at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, and voilà
- Use this direct link to switch back: https://plus.google.com/u/0/settings?gmbpt=true&fd=1
What’s worked for generating your new Google Review link? How do you like the new G+ layout? Share with us by tweeting @TheeDesign!