Do you know that people may be posting online reviews of your church?
I was googling a church near Houston recently, looking at the Google map to find it, and there was a **REVIEW** option, which allows regis
tered Google users to leave comments about any business on the map. And yes, according to Google your church is a business.
That’s a handy feature for restaurants, but, what if someone leaves a negative review about your church?
Think it won’t happen? Think again. I have found negative reviews of some churches on the Google map screen.
“people unfriendly” “won’t go back” “too liberal”
Here’s a screenshot of that church near Houston and the reviews of other nearby churches that fit my criteria. You and I could leave reviews too… all you need is a Google account, such as a gmail account.Your church listing needs a good photo. This is the default.
If it were me, I’d go post at least one good review of your church and identify yourself as a member and why you like your church. Then, from time to time visit your map location and watch how others review you… some people are malicious. Fortunately only registered Google users can leave reviews, so you can send them a polite request.
You can also ‘flag’ their comment as unhelpful or inappropriate to get Google’s attention. Have other reviewers do the same if it is indeed a bogus review (if the review is correct, flag yourself!).
More about Google and your church…
Most churches are automatically listed in Google maps because Google has collected the church/business info from places like the Yellow Pages. Occasionally, however, you can see a church listing that doesn’t have the address or phone number listed in a Google search, or doesn’t appear on the map, or who’s website isn’t listed with their address listing. I’ve even seen churches that had the WRONG street address with their listing because of the wrong info Google swept up.
You can FIX these things by logging into Google (use your gmail acct for example) and going to GOOGLE PLACES to create your place on their maps. http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter
You really want to do this because Google allows you to “claim ownership” of the business/church date/location which Google associates with your church. Google will mail you a postcard with a PIN number so that you have permanent control over your record in their system. How nice.
Once you are the “verified owner” of the map listing, you can upload photos. I’m amazed how many churches don’t do this. By default, Google will place a picture of the “streetview” address it has for your church, which often means a PHOTO OF A CURB or tree representing your church.