City Experts - Google needs more reviews
Google are getting more competitive with Yelp in the local online space. Both companies are making strategic acquisitions and both companies (particularly Google) are tinkering with their online value proposition.
The recent soft launch of City Experts aims to incentivise Google+ users once they've written 50 reviews within Google Maps / Google+ Local. For this the reviewer will get some free merchandise, local discounts and special events in their chosen area.
If your business is localised and you have linked up your Google+ profile to sections or pages on your website then becoming a City Expert in your area illustrates a stronger relationship with that city and your business. Which could in turn lead to an SEO benefit. I have summarised the process in 3 steps - the third step is the most time consuming by far but the benefits of immersing yourself in Google+ could well result in an SEO return.
|Sign up - easy to do, you just need a Google Account|
|Pick a city - you can type your town/city in if its not in the list.|
Over a period of perhaps 2-4 months, review 50 businesses that you've used over the years in your home town. Once you've done a dozen or so, you'll realise that this isn't a hugely onerous task but do bear in mind that Google is looking for high quality reviews (3-4 sentences long, helpful, balanced information).