It looks like Google has been testing large orange stars for the business ratings in the SERPs. I found that it is pretty consistent across browsers. I first noticed the change when using Google Chrome and searching the query “movers dallas.”
For some reason, I had the hunch to check the same results on Safari and it seemed to still have the Zagat rating system… that is until you click on the listing and see that it showed the orange stars. Being the nerd that I am, I also looked on Safari on my iPhone and it does show the stars.
Google Much Improved From Zagat System
For local businesses, this is a much improved feature from Google. When they first changed to the Zagat rating system, I thought small, local businesses (with great reviews) were doomed because ratings and reviews were not showed prominently. If local business owners weren’t serious about reputation management before, this surely will force them to pay more attention. Here is a great guide for those to are concerned about the reputation of their business and how to manage it wisely.
What Are Your Thoughts On This?
I am curious of others opinions on this change. What are you noticing? How much does this help local businesses and SMB owners? I think it is definitely a step in the right direction.