This was bound to happen and I kept warning my friends and clients to focus on getting more reviews on their Google places page in addition to other review sites. They would constantly tell me to look and see that Google shows over 100 reviews but what I had to explain was that Google was being generous to the consumer and scraping other review websites and generating stars based on all that info. I warned, that if Google wanted to stop providing the third party site aggregation service the star ratings would drop drastically if most of the rating were on other sites.
Sure enough, and to a shock of many, Google has dropped third party ratings from their stars and is now only displaying their own ratings and reviews to generate star count — although Google is still showing third parties review counts in brackets — but they do not have any impact on the star rating which you should focus on building. Additionally, some reports are stating that not all third party reviews are being displayed. So what can you do — well first calm down and start focusing on customers with Google accounts and Google Phones and get them to post on your places page — but that doesn’t mean stop posting to the other rating sites all together — just shift your focus to more ratings on Google.
Once you start to generate some more Google ratings you can use Google Boost to kick-up the heat on your places pay-per-click campaign.