Strategy: Aggregate Small Biz Reviews?

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Hey all,

I got a strategy that I see a few people doing in my niche & I wanted to verify the validity of it at scale.

The concept is that "Joe Schmoe Plumbing" has reviews for his biz across various 3rd party sites. A few on Google, a few on Yelp, a few on YellowPages, etc. I have seen some people scraping & aggregating all these reviews to make their own version of Joe Schmoe's Review Page.

I think this approach is actually valuable for users, but I have some questions.

1. Does Google recognize that you're just reposting reviews found elsewhere on the web?
2. From a spider perspective, is it considered unique if you're combining a bunch of non-unique stuff, but in aggregate it is unique?
3. Is it a gamble to launch 1,000 business pages at a time based off of a mass "scrape"?
4. Any other considerations like places being pissed you ripped off their review? DMCAs?
 

Ryuzaki

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1)
Yeah, they know all about the puzzle-pieced copy-pasta. They've also been very open to say that it doesn't take much to "add value" which is all they're looking for. That could be as little as a new introductory paragraph giving context. Or also add an outro paragraph just to play it safe too. That's a pain across 1000+ pages. I suspect, despite what I've just said, that you'll get far more mileage out of not adding the value than we're led to believe. I've made my own database sites like this that did just fine. They added value but were basically clones of each other and none of them had problems.

2)
Same as above. It's not unique. I feel like I've read that that does not add value in the eyes of Google, to simply compile stuff. I also know that Google says things they aspire for to get people to not do things they can't account for yet.

3 & 4)
You could end up with some DMCA takedowns and other issues. When people submit a review to a site, the site owns that review. Some companies have managed to make their database of info proprietary. There's been some interesting lawsuits on this, especially surrounding the Yellow Pages. It's gone both ways. I wouldn't tempt the big dogs from within the same country they operate in.

If you're sold on database style sites, there's plenty of publicly avaliable, tax payer funded databases you can work with.