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Angie's List Removed Its Paywall: What Does This Mean For Your Business?

By Townes Haas   |    August 26, 2016   |    10:11 AM

There’s No More Paywall on Angie’s List Reviews… Here’s What That Means

In the past, if someone wanted access to the reviews on Angie’s List, a $40 yearly fee was required. However, the business changed its entire model in early 2016.

Users no longer have to pay a fee to gain access to the reviews on Angie's List, so they can search for their next plumber, electrician, or other service provider for free. As you might expect, this change will have implications for small businesses and their local marketing.

If you’re not sure how this change could impact your business and its online reputation, you’ll want to keep reading to learn more.

Reviews will give businesses an SEO (Search Engine Marketing) boost

Angie’ is a very respected domain name with a lot of authority on the Web. Now, when customers search for a local business in one of their categories, there’s a strong chance that the business’s Angie’s List listing will show up near the top of the results.

This has always been true, even when reviews weren’t accessible to the non-paying public. It’s really quite impressive that pages on the site rank so highly, since the review content was mostly hidden from the general public. Now that anyone can see these reviews there’s a very strong chance that pages on the site will continue to perform well on Google and in other search engines.

So, when someone heads online to search for your business or businesses like yours, your Angie’s List page will likely be near the top of the results.

Bad reviews will be easier to find… but so will good reviews

Now that anyone can see the reviews on Angie’s List, potential customers can easily read about the good, the bad, and everything in between.

Before the change, it was relatively easy for a business to carry on despite negative reviews from past customers. That’s all changing now, and any negative reviews will be much easier to find.

But, there’s a silver lining — if a local business has a slew of positive reviews, those will also be more readily available. Because users had to pay to leave and read reviews, consumers took the task very seriously — reviews on Angie’s List are typically very detailed. We’ll have to wait and see whether that trend continues now that more users will be accessing and using the site.

How to get the most from Angie’s List

The removal of the yearly fee also means that businesses should focus on Angie’s List in their online marketing efforts. Essentially, start treating Angie’s List like you would Yelp, Facebook, and other spaces where consumers can leave reviews about their experience.

If you haven’t registered and claimed your business profile yet, it’s a great first step. You’ll be notified of any new reviews for your business. Registering also makes it easier to respond to reviews, which is something all businesses should prioritize.

And, if the idea of tactfully responding to negative reviews sounds like a Herculean task, be sure to read up on tips for responding to negative reviews online.