By Robert Baxter [rbaxter@surgeonsadvisor.com]

Google has significantly changed its Google Places layout and stopped drawing upon reviews from third party sites and from showing snippets of those reviews on their Places page. This is an enormous change that is going to impact Google, review sites, and physicians who are getting reviewed on the Internet.

Before, when you would do a search you would often be shown local results — those were results that showed with pushpins and the map. Those results would show a star rating that aggregated reviews from many sites, including Google. You could click the place page and see excerpts of reviews from sites like Vitals, RealSelf, and CitySearch.

That has changed dramatically. As you can see below, Google is only showing star ratings from Google itself. As a result, many physicians have seen their overall ratings drop from 10, 25, 50, or more to just a few. In addition, getting to those third party rating sites is not so easy now.

More.

[Source: PSP]