Google Reviews Just Got Easier – G+ No Longer Required

It would appear that Google is now allowing users with just a Google account to leave a review. The account can be either gmail or non gmail based. The only requirement being that they also leave use a first and last name but the requirement to have a full G+ account is now gone.

First spotted by Conrad O’Connell (h/t David Mihm) the feature seems to be live for both mobile and desktop users.

The separation of Google Local from Google Plus has been long and painful and this update is one of the last steps to make the separation complete. In doing so, Google reviews should be somewhat easier to leave going forward. Simultaneously with this update, Google seems to have fixed a long standing bug that prevented reviews being left on mobile browsers if the business had no previous reviews.

Easier Google Reviews

The new login system only requires any Google account and name for a user to leave a review:

anigif

And the view from the desktop

desktop-view

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About the Author

Mike Blumenthal
With unmatched industry expertise and knowledge, Mike is a co-founder and serves as GetFiveStar’s Chief Review Officer helping our customers get the most of the platform. Mike is widely cited as the foremost Local Search expert in North America and affectionately known among his colleagues as ‘Professor Maps’.

25 thoughts on “Google Reviews Just Got Easier – G+ No Longer Required

  1. Jon Symons - April 2, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    That really is great news… now if only if they would come up with a way to easily send a direct link to the page where customers can leave a review. A guy can dream!

    Reply
  2. Jon Symons - April 2, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Hi Mike, I don’t see the link… maybe it’s the one at Grade.us, which is the best solution so far that I give to my clients, but still strange that Google makes it so hard.

    Reply
    • Mike Blumenthal - April 3, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      @Jon
      Sorry, the link got stripped. You don’t really need Grade.us to generate. As John pointed out you can simply click on the “read review link” or “write review link” visible in the Knowledge panel to generate the link. Historically the “write review link” which got a user closer would break if the user was not logged in. That now appears to be fixed.

      Reply
  3. Thomas Gohring - April 2, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    This is great news. They must have just rolled it out nationally. In Austin Texas it has been this way for a few months. And to Jon Symons… You can easily send a link to the page customers can leave a review. The way I get the correct link is I open chrome in incognito mode… search my business… choose my local listing… scroll down to where it says… the “write a review” button under the map… Click on it… copy the url web address for that browser window… now I have a direct link which I will paste in a email requesting a review from a gmail user customer… or in an email campaign create my own button or link using that url web address.

    Reply
  4. Martin English - April 3, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Thanks Mike for your post and also Jon for his opinions.

    Google appears to be randomly testing all sorts of algorithms of late within various continents. We have numerous alerts from all over the world from trusted partners who have a vested interest in local SEO. This particular niche is being fiscally leveraged.

    It is has been increasingly apparent that Google is attempting to monetize it’s SERPS and placing priority upon $$$ rather than what they initially promised us. Knowledge. IMO

    Reply
    • Mike Blumenthal - April 3, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      @Martin
      This is unlikely a test. Google has been splitting Local from Plus for the past 2.5 years and this is the last remaining vestige of the forced march to Google Plus Local in 2011. So while they are monetizing many things, this does not appear to be one of them.

      Reply
      • Martin English - April 4, 2016 at 5:37 pm

        Hi Mike. Sincerely trust you are well. I avidly read as many articles that are written by you. My business partners too via certain websites.

        I humbly suggest that Google really hasn’t got a clue about it’s audience whatsoever!

        Envious of Facebook and YouTube. Frantically wondering why they didn’t comprehend the audience value of TripAdvisor (local SEO), but yet persistently attempts to push certain vain G related apps. Talk about a Carousal, Wave, Buzz, G +, the list seems to be endless.

        Reply
  5. Chip Smith - April 3, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    How is this good news? Now people can leave good and bad reviews anonymously. Requiring people to build a Google+ page with real information, allows business owners to respond to legitimate concerns to real human beings. I think this can lead to more bad reviews by petty customers, competitors and disgruntled employees.

    Reply
    • Mike Blumenthal - April 3, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      @Chip
      When G+ was first introduced, one of its main objectives was to be a digital identity network using real names. Because of user pushback, the real name requirement was soon dropped. Once that happened G+ stopped preventing anonymous review attacks and it just became a log in system used by 200-300 million people.

      Switching to a Google account login means that somewhere north of 900 million people now have credentials to leave a review not just 200-300 million. And even without G+, Google actually knows who those people are because most of them are using a mobile phone.

      So not only did it become easier for legit users to leave a review, most of them already have verified accounts to do so.

      Those folks motivated to spam reviews were motivated before and are still motivated but Google’s ability to ID them is actually just as good or greater than before.

      Reply
  6. Rob - April 3, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Finally!

    Reply
  7. John Wilson - April 3, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    The entire link did not come through. But I copied the link after clicking the write review link, with the Google review form popup showing. The last part should be like this:
    :0x2daea2d3b6aa10c7,3,,

    Reply
    • Mike Blumenthal - April 3, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      @John
      Historically I didn’t recommend the ,3 URL because it failed with private browsing or if the user was not logged in on mobile particularly on an iPhone but with the new account login it is working.

      Obviously at some point, it might be a signal to Google that the review was solicited and impact its trust but for now its a great URL.

      Reply
  8. Cody Baird - April 4, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Great news!

    Facebook Auth next? Not.

    But hey I’ll take it. Less steps are better.

    Reply
  9. Sonia Pitt - April 4, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    This makes things much easier for businesses to ask and get reviews from their customers because many people do not use Google Plus till date, though the number is increasing very fast. This is a good and realistic move from Google.

    Reply
  10. Sherm Stevens - April 4, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    To get the goofy Google URL review link to work on all browsers and devices I recommend editing the URL and remove the

    ‘sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2’

    from the URL. Users still have too much to do to leave a review, always making it difficult to get them to leave one.

    Again, HOW difficult would it be for Google to simply have a single reviews page for each business instead of their lame pop-up? Baffled by Google once again.

    Reply
    • Mike Blumenthal - April 5, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      @Andrew well at least easier for the 900 million active Gmail users!

      Reply
  11. Rachel Rossicone - April 6, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Hello!

    If you don’t have a Google+ Profile and choose to leave a review giving your name, does Google create a G+ Profile for you with that name afterwards?

    It happened for me when I tested it. Curious if this was happening for others.

    Thanks 🙂
    Rachel

    Reply
  12. Rachel - August 31, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Thanks for this – Testing on my mobile phone this afternoon revealed that I can ask people to look for my business in either Google Maps, Google.com in a browser or the Google App with the same result. I.e. when you find my business listing, select the location then look for the stars to review. I found that you don’t need to be logged in as a user which keeps my instructions simple. Though you will be prompted for a login or to create an account if you want to leave a review, which is what I’d want.

    Reply
  13. Mike - May 28, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    This is crap news. Now you have to leave a first and last name and be subject to retribution if you give a bad review. It’s like voting, should be anonymous. But that’s Google for you.

    Reply

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