This could be too little too late but it is a step in the right direction. For years Google forced people who left reviews to be signed into Google+. Unfortunately, Google+ never took off and is mostly overrun with spam. With Yelp absolutely crushing the review scene Google has finally begun to take some steps towards making it a little easier for businesses to get a review. Just don’t try to link to your review page as the URL is 14.7 miles long and it changes often (hint, hint Google).
Today, April 20, 2016, I noticed this neat feature in Google search. I’m not sure when it went live but I do know that it was not there a week ago. People can review businesses on Google via their Google Account without needing a Google+ account. If you are not signed in to Google and click on “leave a review” for a business you will be greeted with this box:
The unfortunate thing here is that people have given up trying to leave reviews many years ago. Once someone is turned off from something online they are extremely unlikely to return. People are very likely to just think that this is a yet a new screen to force them into their defunct social network.
Will this increase the ability for businesses to obtain reviews? Time will tell.
If you are reading this I would encourage you to leave your local businesses a review on Google. As a former and current business owner I can tell you that we greatly appreciate it. And if something has gone wrong, reach out to them and they will make things right. Unless they suck; in that case a bad review will save some others from having a bad experience.