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h/t +James Gibbons noted that he was now seeing these. They have been around for several months but now seem much more frequent. Along with every Google change (whether permanent or not) comes new questions. Like why does one restaurant with 9 reviews get the treatment while another restaurant down the road with the same number of reviews does not?
Scott Rawlins's profile photoMax Minzer's profile photoAllyn Hane's profile photoMike Blumenthal's profile photo
Thanks Mike! Very interesting indeed. Will have to look at it further.
I think "Zagat ratings removed" needs a special, separate post, +Mike Blumenthal. Big change. A lot of businesses shocked to see their number of reviews sink coming soon...
+Max Minzer perhaps... there just wasn't that much for me to say about it. And it mostly affects restaurants.... essentially will recalibrate all to a new norm... it is just the anonymous ones, not all.  
I see my auto clients getting these expanded reviews on their local cards as well. I think the answer to "why some get it and others do not" goes back to Google Maps where there is a filter for "top reviewers"  
I'm in the "Google City Experts" program and I can't prove it, but I believe my personal reviews get a bump as well. For sure, when I leave reviews in my local area (NW Indiana) mine always are filtered to the top as "most useful" and trump all the others left, even those that are fresher.
+Allyn Hane certainly being a top reviewer gets YOUR reviews more visibility. But I too am a top reviewer and in the example in my post had reviewed both restaurants. One showed the snippets and one didn't.

Must be some additional factor. 
Gotcha. Maybe the business needs to have been reviewed by a few top reviewers to get the expanded snippets. And I think reviews left on mobile are weighted differently as well. 
BTW. I just enjoy speculating. I let the smart guys like you come up with the facts. Thanks for your solid content over the years. 
I am looking for any and all ideas. I am still trying to find both the minimum level at which they show (lowest review count so far is 6) and a simple (Occam's razor) explanation that fits.

Your idea of reviewer authority is interesting. Although where I live (out in the boonies) there are not many top reviewers besides myself and yet the snippets show.