Evert and Allard have already posted thousands of reviews on Google that you have probably used

A situation that everyone is familiar with: you want to visit a restaurant,but you don’t know which one. There is a good chance that you will then pickup the reviews, for example on Google Maps. But who make them? Allard andEvert have already written thousands of them.

Google Maps is teeming with reviews for restaurants, sights, museums and otherplaces. While some people like to share the experience, especially after avery nice – or very unpleasant – experience, others see it as a dailyactivity.

Never been

For example, Allard Bijlsma from Ede has already written about 1,800 reviewson Google Maps. “I eat out a lot, for example with my daughter who lives inGroningen. She can always choose the restaurant, provided it is one I’ve neverbeen to. Then I can write a review.”

Allard doesn’t just leave reviews on Google Maps at restaurants. He often alsocomments on shops or places of interest. He also includes a self-made photo.”As a visual aid.”

Quality reviews

With the photos he wants to show what something looks like. Handy for users,he says. But the users are by no means the only reason why he is such a bigcontributor to Google Maps.

He thinks that the quality of the reviews is often lacking. “Most, especiallyfor restaurants, are vulgar. A bit along the lines of: ‘The food was jerky’.That is not useful for the people who want to learn more about it, but alsonot fun for the business itself. “

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Did you really not like something? Then he often leaves a review of 3 stars.”But then I do have the necessary comments in the text. I just don’t want toparticipate in that vulgar. I want to support the entrepreneurs.”

His children think he is crazy, he says. “They find it all too burdensome,writing all those reviews. They are too busy for it. But I really enjoy doingit.”

Little time

And it takes him little extra time. “I often do it in between. At commercialbreaks when I watch TV, for example.” Then he receives a notification fromGoogle where he has been that day, asking if he wants to let you know what hethought of it. That’s because he has the ‘location service’ option turned onon his phone.

Not only Google knows where to find him, the entrepreneurs in the neighborhoodalso know him by now. “I once left a nice review at a restaurant. Then I got acall that a bottle of wine was waiting for me.”

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He already had this urge to write in his youth. “I wrote diaries until I was18. Through the photos I take and the reviews I leave, I can see exactly whereI’ve been up to 11 years ago. A kind of visual diary, that’s what I do itfor.”

But it also makes him reflect on the day, he says. “It makes me think: whatdid I really think of it? That’s nice.”

Thinking back to the day

Evert Niemeijer is just as fanatical as Allard with writing reviews. He hasalready left more than 1,200 on Google Maps. He also likes to go through theday like this. “It’s nice to think back to the day and how you experiencedit.”

Evert is involved in the export of agricultural machinery and thereforetravels a lot. “That means I come to many places where I can write reviews.”He often does this when he is waiting for his flight or when he is in hishotel in the evening.

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Positive reviews

Like Allard, Evert mainly writes positive reviews. “Or it must have beenreally terrible. But I think above all: those entrepreneurs are doing theirbest. Let me give them something positive.”

He calls it his sense of responsibility, not only to entrepreneurs, but alsoto Google Maps users who want to know what something is like. “My wife doestoo, she reads the reviews, but doesn’t write any. While it’s so easy to leavesomething behind. Although she says I’m crazy that I spend so much time onit.”

Interaction with entrepreneurs

Evert does it all voluntarily, but he does get something in return.Interaction with the entrepreneurs, for example. “Last year I wrote somethingabout a hotel of nothing. Then I received a very detailed explanation from theowner why the service was not satisfactory. That is nice.”

A good review, on the other hand, helps entrepreneurs to get more visitors, heknows. “Recently I was in such a great hotel, with very enthusiasticentrepreneurs. I give them a nice review.”

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By chance

It sometimes happens to him that people in his environment accidentally comeacross his reviews. “2 years ago I wrote something about a restaurant in the_middle of nowhere_ in Sweden. Turned out 3 weeks ago my niece had been there.She had read my review. I think it’s funny to hear that.”

Allard sometimes experiences something like this. “A friend was recently onZakynthos and was looking for a restaurant there. He suddenly came acrossreviews from me, because I’ve been there before.”

Nostalgic moment

Allard is a historian and geographer and has not only posted hundreds ofreviews in recent years, but also put tens of thousands of photos at thelocations on Google Maps. “Sometimes a point of interest doesn’t even existyet. Then I create it right away.”

In this way he contributes to the archive location that Google Maps is. Andthat is appreciated by users. All of his submitted photos have been viewedmore than 100 million times. “I like it best for the Dutch who have emigrated,looking back on Google Maps at a nostalgic moment and then coming across mycontributions.”