When Google pushed out the Google+ Local changes it brought to the front Zagat reviews, which replaced the Google star ratings in the Google Maps results.
Prior, Google showed the average of the five star reviews in the search results. The more stars, typically the more clicks you get from the search results. So when Google changed this, some merchants and stores noticed a huge drop in traffic and sales from Google.
Here is what it looked like before (courtesy of agency3):
Now, those stars are removed and replaced by Zagat scores:
Does this make a huge impact in the click through rate from the Google search results to the store or merchant? Some merchants are saying yes, it makes a huge difference.
A Google Business Help thread has one merchant who said on average he received 30-60 visits per day from Google from his maps result and not it is down to 0 to 5 visits per day. He said it is "destroying" his business:
I know for a fact that I am not the only one that feels this way as I have talked to others who have also experienced the same problem.
Everything about Google+ seems to be fine if not better than Google Places except for the removal of the stars. Ever since they removed the star ratings, my actions or clicks went from 30 - 60 or more a day to 0 - 5. I am still on the first page of Google for relevant search terms and in most cases I am also the first listing, I am also receiving the same amount of impressions as before, but the absence of the stars has caused an obvious hit on my Google Business Listing effectiveness. Injunction with that, I have seen a drastic decline in business. Is there not a way to compromise and use the Zagat reviews as well as the stars?
Have you felt the same way?
Forum discussion at Google Business Help.