Analyzing Review Snippets in Local Pack
Recently, I’ve been noticing more and more review snippets in Local Packs. Local SEO people have been discussing the new additions to the Local Pack, though there hasn’t been much discussion on what triggers the snippets. I analyzed 6 different niches and hundreds of searches to determine what, if anything, is triggering review snippets to show in the Local Pack. Below is what I found.
I wanted to get a good mix of industries in order to fully understand what types of reviews are being pulled and why. I analyzed 6 industries which were pulling reviews into the Local Pack. The industries were:
- Hair Salons
- Taco Restaurants
- Jewelry Stores
- Shoe Stores
- Car Repair
For each industry, I set out to analyze 10 review snippets. This proved tougher than I thought as the snippets do not show for every market, city or service. It was much more difficult to pull results with snippets than I imagined. I searched nearly 300 different queries to only pull about 30 results with snippets, half of what I set out to accomplish.
In addition, I analyzed the websites ranking in the Pack (because of a well optimized GMB profile) with review snippets, the reviews and reviewers which had the snippet featured, and the date of the review in the snippet. I did the same for snippets in the Local Finder.
Here is a link to the data if you are interested.
In the 30 reviews I pulled with snippets, I was hoping to find a pattern as to what companies get snippets and why. Unfortunately, I was unable to determine much from the data. The data did prove interesting though. Here is some of what I found:
- The average number of Snippets with Reviews in the Local Pack was 1
- On average, a business was ranking in the 2nd position within the Pack when a review snippet was present
- The average number of reviews for business with a snippet was 151 with an average star rating of 4.33
- The avg number of reviews is skewed by the Taco Restaurants as they typically have more reviews than other niches. If the Taco Restaurants are removed, the avg number of reviews drops to 93.
- The average number of reviews seems high, but I noticed several snippets with as little as 5 reviews.
- The lowest avg star rating was 2.9
- There were an average of 5.28 business in the Local Finder which had review snippets. Some had snippets within the top 3, which would land right in line with the Local Pack. Look at this result of Raleigh:
Review Snippets Analyzed
- There were no businesses in the Local Pack which had snippets, which did not have snippets in the Local Finder
- There were many businesses in the Local Finder which had snippets, but were not in the Local Pack. The Raleigh example above shows this.
- Several of the businesses which ranked in the Local Pack had snippets in the Finder, but not in the Pack
- Look at this example of salons in St. Louis:
Another for Rockford hair salons:
- All of the review snippets came from reviews left on Google
- Most of the review snippets are from reviews which were at least 6 months old
- There were no negative reviews in the snippets
- There were several review snippets being pulled from 3 star reviews
- Google was highlighting keywords in the snippets. Many of the keywords were directly related to the query, though some were not.
- Many of the reviews had responses from the business owners
- Many of the review snippets also had a solid GMB profile – completely filled out, posts, Q&A, etc
Google is highlighting many keywords in the snippets. Many of the keywords were directly related to the query, though others were not. For instance, when I searched for car repair or auto repair shops, G was highlighting “mechanics” or “fix” in the review snippets. Check out this listing with the highlighted keywords different than the query:
Similar happenings when I searched for personal injury lawyer. G was returning “car accident”, “injury” or “claim”.
It was most common for there to only be 1 listing with a review snippet in the Local Pack. There was only 1 instance where there was more than 1 review snippet in the Pack. This Atlanta injury attorney search had the odd 2 snippet Pack:
Much of the time, the #1 listing in the Local Pack did not generate a snippet.
After analyzing the Local Pack for review snippets, I doubled back to check a few of the results again and was unable to replicate the data. Seems the review snippets may come and go for the same query/results.
Due to the chatter within Local SEO niches and my own research, I figured finding review snippets in Local Packs would be easier and a full roll out in all niches. After this research, it may only be a test at this time. There doesn’t seem to be concrete data to support any theories about why a business will have review snippets or what review will be showcased as a review snippet.
The best thing for businesses to do is concentrate on attracting Google reviews and respond to those reviews. Make sure your Google My Business is on point and completely filled out. Take advantage of Google Posts, photos, Q&A (be sure to respond to questions). Google is truly attempting to make their page your websites homepage. Take advantage where you can because your competitors will be too.