Google Related Toolbar Highlights Need For IRM Process

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Google continues to amaze me with a tsunami of changes to search and new products this summer. The team at Google is not taking any vacation time this year.

Google announced today Google Related, a free toolbar that is available for Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. The toolbar is not available for Firefox.

The toolbar will appear at the BOTTOM of select websites, and show a number of items that are designed to help the consumer who is SHOPPING or RESEARCHING on the Internet. For car dealers, if this toolbar becomes popular, their online reputation will be amplified and also their competitors will be placed a click away.

The toolbar will benefit dealers that have a strong Internet Reputation Management (IRM) process and it will negatively impact dealers that have ignored their online reviews. When was the last time you checked your Google Places page? How many reviews do you have posted?

Google Related Toolbar In Action

Here is a service microsite for Toyota of Sanford, and when you visit this website with the Google Related toolbar installed, you can see the Google Related toolbar at the bottom of the page:

Google Related Toolbar

Close-up of Google Related Toolbar

Google Related Toolbar

You can see how VISIBLE dealer reviews that are on Google Places will be shown. It also shows related searches, which WILL INCLUDE other local dealers. This has good points and bad points for dealers, however this is the CONSUMER’s CHOICE.

When you hover over the reviews section this is what you see:

When you hover over the related places, this is what you see:

Google Related Car Dealers

Please take note that the local competitor’s reviews are shown.

I’d like to hear your thoughts about this new toolbar. Consumers will be presented with enhanced search tools and they will impact their click decisions.

Why You Need A Proactive Reputation Management Process

All your advertising dollars are impacted by your online reviews. The #1 search phrase that brings organic traffic to your website is YOUR DEALERSHIP NAME. Almost 100% of the time, your Google Places page will show when a consumer searches for your dealership name.

This means that 15,000 – 25,000 times a month consumers are seeing your review star counts. What are they seeing? Here are some example that are in position #1 on dealer Google Places Pages. Are these REVIEWS that you would want thousands of people to see a month?

What Are You Waiting For?

  • Can you afford not to implement an in-store Internet Reputation Management process?
  • Can you afford to leave negative reviews posted without a response from your dealership?
  • Can you compete when your local competitors have 2x or 3x the number of positive reviews?

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