Google has just released a new way to manage all of your local reviews. The feature can be found in the Google Places Dashboard, where they added a tab right below your listing information. This update is significant because it shows Google is trying to drastically improve their local tools and that they are valuing reviews more and more everyday.
When you open the Review tab, it displays all of the reviews that you have received on your Google listing. It also allows you to respond directly to your reviews right there in the dashboard. This is a great way to engage with customers, and can really assist you in managing your online reputation.
The tool also displays reviews of your business that it has found around the web. There are thousands of directories out there where customers can leave you reviews, and it is hard to keep track of all of the places your business is listed. This dashboard allows you to monitor a variety of review sites around the web to ensure your customer's needs are met and that you have a good reputation online.
There is also a new insights dashboard for reviews. The charts show you the total number of reviews on the web, and where those reviews are located. The other shows you your average star rating.
This feature is a sign that Google is making a continued push to be the leaders in local marketing. This is also a sign that Reviews will be increasingly valued by Google for local search results.