Google started rolling out Questions and Answers (Q&A) feature for local search in the beginning of August. As with all the testing, it was initially available, exclusively for Android users via the Google Maps App, but eventually, they made it available to everyone searching from a mobile device using either Safari or Chrome browsers.
The main motto behind introducing the Q&A into local search is to get the most updated and relevant data about businesses and places. Q&A is always been one of the best sources to get fresh content. Amazon has already tested it and employing it the way it should be.
Here’s what it looks like on mobile device.
However, the fear of spamming is real! The competitors, or even just a single angry employee can ruin the entire Q&A section. Also, if a business has the authority to edit it, then it’s going to be as genuine and real as the “testimonials and reviews” that they put on their own website.
Here’s what Google says :
“To make sure “Questions & answers” contains the most accurate and useful local info possible, business owners can add frequently asked questions and answers as well. In addition, when you (a customer) ask a question about a place, we notify the business owner and other in-the-know users to see if they have knowledgeable answers to contribute. When your question is answered, we notify you too.”
Let’s see how Google is going to tackle these issues. Meanwhile, you might want to start writing content for the Q&A section. Reason being, Google has just launched it and is hungry for content (data), they will hardly filter it out and will most likely accept just about anything you post. You can actually benefit from the desperation of Google and ignorance of your competitors.
Remember, the early bird gets the worm!