Looking to encourage more quality reviews for Google+, Google has launched its City Experts program. Available in selected cities in the United States, the U.K, Australia, and Japan, the City Experts program is available only to those individuals who have written 50 or more reviews and who can continue to contribute at least five (5) additional reviews each month.
Those who are eligible to participate in the program will enjoy a few perks including Google swag and access to an “exclusive” community where members can “discuss new tips and tricks for using Google+ Local and Google Maps.” City Experts will also receive a monthly newsletter with offers, contests and invitations to exclusive City Expert events.
To join the City Experts program, Google Maps and Google+ Local users must sign up via the registration page. Once they have written 50 high quality reviews, they will receive a welcome letter into the City Experts program. A high quality review is defined as “three to four sentences long and contains specific, helpful and balanced information about a particular business.” City Experts must then continue to post at least 5 high quality reviews each month to maintain their active status in the program. The focus on quality reviews is meant to discourage spammers and others from flooding the program just to get free stuff.
Cities in the U.S. participating in the City Experts program include Austin, Chicago, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco. Those who do not live in participating cities are encouraged to sign up for the program as Google hopes to expand the City Experts program to additional cities in the future.