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Eley Duke III, vice president of Duke Automotive, could watch worry-free this year when Google deleted thousands of customer reviews from dozens of dealerships nationally.

He had almost no exposure to the purge because nearly all of the Virginia retailer's reviews were on DealerRater.com, 232 vs. just 11 on his store's Google+ Local page. Duke sells Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles in one store in Suffolk, Va.

Since Google's mass review purge in late summer, dealers have tried to figure out where best to send customers to write online reviews. It has been a challenge because Google is so well-positioned to influence online shoppers. Two of every three visitors to a dealer Web site get there by clicking on a Google-generated link.

 


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