If you’re like many business owners, you rely on Google Reviews to help generate local leads and grow your business. But what if your google reviews aren’t showing up? This can be a huge problem, especially if you’re trying to attract new customers. Let’s discuss why your reviews might not be appearing and how to fix the problem.
Google has been filtering reviews for a long time. About ten years ago, Google launched more stringent filtering than Yelp did (after having done relatively little prior filtering). In March of 2020, Google temporarily halted all new reviews from going live. Most of the time, Google cycles through lengthy periods of review censorship and brief bursts of feedback censorship.
What many are experiencing with their Google reviews right now, may be another one of Google’s filtering periods. Here are a list of some common review issues business owners have been reporting:
This filtering, or removing of reviews is happening in a multitude of industries, but what can you do about it? Besides reporting it to us, here are a few of our recommendations on how to respond to disappearing reviews.
Don’t waste a lot of time phoning Google unless you unintentionally deleted or claimed a Google Business Profile page, in which case the reviews may be misplaced on the wrong page and can be transferred. If it’s not due to reviews being on the wrong page, there’s nothing Google really can do. Whether the evaluations are lost due to a bug or a new policy; it’s fine to contact them just to notify them. Just don’t expect them to fix it.
Remember that the reviews might return one at a time or in batches, with or without your intervention. When there’s been a bug, many reviews have typically trickled back in the past. Because of that, we don’t recommend you asking those whos google reviews disappeared to give you another, or asking a lot of others to give you new reviews all at once. Not only could those reviews be removed, but Google may find more of a problem with your reaction than whatever you did or didn’t do that may have gotten your other reviews thrown out in the first place.
It’s a good idea to get reviews in more than just one place, as in not just Google Maps. If Google removes your reviews, or you have your GMB page suspended, it’s important to have reviews elsewhere, such as Yelp, Facebook, and industry specific sites. Also, if you can get reviews from multiple sources, your Google reviews won’t look forced or fake.
If a reviewer’s personal Google account is disabled, their prior review might vanish. This may occur if they violate Google rules or they just deleted their account.
People can, for example, use Google’s Inactive Account Manager to pre-emptively deactivate their account for security reasons. All of the user’s data, including their reviews, will be erased when this happens.
When it comes to including URLs and links in reviews, Google has tight standards. Almost every time that you submit a URL or link into a review, it is immediately deleted.
This is because Google considers reviews with URLs in them to probably be spam.
If you come across a review with a link and it hasn’t been removed, contact the customer and request they edit their review to delete the link before Google removes it.
It’s better to ask for a detailed review and get no review at all than to just not ask. With that being said, it’s best to not ask them to use specific phrases or words in their review, to avoid it looking fake to Google, or other potential customers. Typically if the customer gives you a detailed review, they’ll add in good search phrases naturally.
Spread out your requests as widely as possible to minimize any sudden increases in the number of reviews. When Google detects a major increase in reviews out of nowhere, it treats them more harshly.
One source of removed reviews could be due to Google having an issue with the content of the photos. Ask customers to post their photos separate for a bit and see if that solves it.
If your Google Business Profile hasn’t been updated in a long time and customers aren’t using it, it’s likely that you’ve lost your Google verification status.
Unverified businesses will be disabled and not rank on Google Search or Google Maps; as a result, existing or new reviews left by your customers will not be visible to the public.
As we talked about before, quality is of the utmost priority to Google, so they’re rigorous in removing any spam or fake reviews. Reviews must align with Google’s review policy about Prohibited and Restricted content.
Fake reviews are often bought by a business, and most of these reviews come from bots creating accounts, which Google flags down and removes.
This can lead to more severe problems for your business and ultimately the removal of your business profile.
Ask one of your customers with a recently removed review to edit (or rewrite) and resend the review. Maybe ask the customer to tone down the “keywords” or enthusiastic praise. If that solves the problem, wait a few days and ask another one to do the same.
Make sure you’re never short on reviews, even if a few of them are missing and get removed. Always get more Google reviews so you can maintain your star rating and bring in more customers, while also knowing how to respond to negative reviews!