I've been tasked with building out our search results page and after including the basic things in the side bar:

Here is the current search (blacked out my logos/names to avoid self promotion claims) Current Google Search Sidebar

  • Map
  • Star Rating
  • Name
  • Service
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Hours
  • Reviews
  • "People also search for.."
  • Blog feed

My concern is that we don't currently have Google reviews because we ask our customers to submit them on either Capterra, Software Advice or G2 Crowd in which we have raving reviews that we would like to include in the search results. Is there a way to include those, or let Google take those into account when rating us?

Capterra Reviews Capterra Reviews

Software Advice Reviews

Software Advice Reviews

Apologies for the long question, just want to make sure I cover everything! Thanks and appreciate your help!

1 Answer 1


Sadly there is no option to import reviews to Google Business, they used to display links to other review sites but this is no longer the case. You only option is to start collecting reviews on Google. Google's algorithm does however take into external account reviews, how much weight each side holds is a whole different question.

Since I'm based in the UK, I work with a lot of industry companies that use a website called Checkatrade, its basically a site you use to find trusty construction companies, and avoid cowboys, a link and reviews from this site helps dearly, even through some of the companies I work with have zero reviews on Google.

However, Google is really pushing people to have Google accounts and I can't see them abandoning it any time soon, there's to much money involved in advertising streams whilst looking at reviews. Because of this it would be advisable to collect reviews on Google, purely for the trust factor, ranking factors and leads that you can gain from it.

If you get a lot of leads from the sites you listed then you should carry on getting reviews on these networks, if not then your primary focus should switch to potential sites that you will get leads, and sadly Google is one of them, on

  • Google Maps
  • Google Plus
  • Google Local Search Results

If you decide to start getting reviews for Google then you should be very careful doing so, do not be tempted to pay a company to get you X reviews, do not ask friends and family or employees, Google has various ways from browsing habits, IP address and so on to find out who is legit... bad practices is a one way ticket to the Penguin Highway.

Ask your customers to leave honest feedback but do not run any incentives to do so, again this will 'MAY' result in the review being removed and who knows if that damages your reputation with Google.



Conflict of interest: Reviews are most valuable when they are honest and unbiased. If you own or work at a place, please don’t review your own business or employer. Don’t offer or accept money, products, or services to write reviews for a business or to write negative reviews about a competitor. If you're a business owner, don't set up review stations or kiosks at your place of business just to ask for reviews written at your place of business.

There happens to be a few ways that you can leave companies feedback, through Google Plus or Google maps, however Google advises users to use the Google Maps route, purely because its easier on mobiles.


Add a rating & review

  • Open Google Maps on your computer and make sure you're signed in.
  • Search for a place.
  • On the card that appears below the search box, click Write a review.
  • In the window that appears, click the stars to score a place and write a review.

However, some companies opt to use G+ Business Review Page Direct Link Generator.

If you just want the elegant review stars then you don't need Google reviews to do so, only if you want the right side panel, or Maps to return results. I recorded a video tutorial on YouTube that I published on our blog awhile back, informing website administrators how to use Schema and external reviews to get shiny stars appearing in search results.

Note that the benefits of including external reviews is that say you offer a product or service, on a deeper page, you can embed reviews on that page and then cite them externally, this will return stars on deeper pages, that is proven to increase click rate. I've done this for a few customers of mine, let me know if you want me to leave a comment with some examples of it in example.

  • Thanks for the very informative reply. Just looking into it, we definitely don't want to use blackhat tactics. How bad is the penalty for incentivised reviews? We know of many other companies that ran things such as "leave a review, get a giftcard" kind of thing for other sites. I believe the Marketing manager is looking into something of that nature for the Google reviews, is that necessarily bad? We're not gifting strangers, but actual customers of ours. I know if you pay for a review, they have to mention they were paid. But what is the ruling if you ran out of space Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 18:58
  • ...consider it as a gift for taking the time to review something. It would be genuine review because the people currently used the product. Could doing something in that nature potentially backfire? Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 19:00
  • That would be against their terms of use, if one of your customers informed them then you would expect to lose most, or even all reviews. Then you may receive a manual penalty against you. What I advise my customers is that if you have 'returning' customers then ask them to leave more current feedback. Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 19:03
  • Also another tip is don't use the word 'review', use feedback. Review implies that you want to display to others how great you are, while feedback implies that you want to improve your service, in my experience people are more inclined to leave reviews if they believe they have an influence. Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 19:04
  • Ah, I see, I will definitely pass that to the marketing manager. Seeing as we're a software company, we don't necessarily have "returning" customers. I've been reading up on the Penguin/Panda updates and having crawled out of bad SEO once before, with the brand refresh we will be going through late in quarter 4, I would definitely like to start off on a good foot. Thanks so much for the help, very informative! Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 19:14

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