Change is a given and Google has made another change to their algorithm, which is a fancy way of saying, “formula.” A blog posted today by Google at http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/07/ongoing-evolution-of-place-pages.html explains the most recent change. The number of reviews shown in Google Places will now only reflect those reviews written by other Google users. The screenshot below shows an excellent example of the change. The left side of the image was captured six days ago and the right side of the image was captured today. Both times we did a search for “Dallas dentist.” The arrows show the number of reviews that appear for the same site. As you can see, the rankings have not changed but the number of reviews has changed, which, in some cases, has reflected on the number of stars for a given site.
Change. It is a given. Google proves it again.
Please click the image and then click it again to see it full size.