Google reviews on your website

One of our clients wanted to embed Google reviews on their website without a third-party plugin. Sounds like a simple thing to do, right? But Google doesn’t provide an easy way to do this anymore (perhaps they’d rather you stay on Google).

Google has an API, but you must be approved to use it. The API is designed for managing Google My Business data which “meet the minimum application feature requirements and product guidelines”. Applying to embed Google Reviews on your site is not straightforward.

You can find a variety of plugins which do allow you to embed your Google reviews. Our client uses Reviews On My Website (paid plan if you want nicer embed options). It’s quick and easy to set up and combines reviews from multiple sources such as Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.

Our client also wanted a way to display their overall Google My Business star rating and the number of reviews. This used to be available via Google Maps API, but not any longer. For now, they’ll manually update this on their site.

Nofollow links

Clients regularly tell us about the advice they’ve received from their “SEO guy”. One common piece of advice is to set all external links to “nofollow”.

While you should nofollow websites you don’t trust and links that have been paid for, you shouldn’t be nofollowing all external links. This is bad for SEO, though is commonly misadvised as beneficial.

Google’s John Mueller has gone on the record recently, saying:

“So it’s definitely not the case that you have any kind of ranking advantage by marking all outgoing links as nofollow. I suspect it’s even, on the contrary, that if you have normal linking on your page then you would probably rank a little bit better over time – essentially because we can see that you’re part of the normal web ecosystem.”

Stillness is the Key

One of my favorite authors, Ryan Holiday, has a new book out shortly, Stillness is the Key. I loved his latest article How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything.

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