One of the first things consumers check before deciding to contact a business is Google reviews. Google reviews left behind by customers show next to a company’s business profile in the Maps and Search function. According to Google, best practices for optimizing reviews include verifying your business profile, replying to customer reviews, and reminding customers to leave a review following an interaction with the business.
Not only do Google reviews enhance search engine visibility, but they can also energize potential customers into contacting a business when the bulk of reviews are positive and convincing. In addition, Google reviews have been proven to boost website click-through rates, expand brand awareness, and reach more consumers globally.
Why Do Google Reviews Disappear?
Reasons for vanishing Google reviews range from an easy fix involving outdated information to more complicated causes involving Google’s picky algorithms.
Here are the top five reasons for disappearing Google reviews:
Deletion of Duplicate Reviews
If Google detects the same reviews listed on a current and alternate listing, its algorithm will think it’s plagiarism/duplicate content and delete them. Visit Google Maps to check if your business has duplicate listings by performing a search for the name and address of your business. Verifying your business will also help avoid review deletion due to duplication.
Wrong Information on Google My Business (GMB)
It can be easy to forget about updating a change to a business location, contact number, or other pertinent information. However, neglecting to correct inaccurate information not only prevents potential new customers from becoming returning customers. Additionally, companies with outdated info on GMB won’t benefit from customer reviews because customers can’t find the company’s listing.
Neglecting to Log In to the GMB Dashboard Every Day
When Google detects a lack of activity involving a GMB listing, the algorithms will assume that the business has either closed down or is no longer interested in benefiting from Google reviews. Unless a company responds frequently to review comments and posts regular updates about the company, it could lose GMB verification status. Verification is essential if you want your company to appear in Google maps or in searches.
Reviews are Flagged as Spam or Inappropriate
Google rigorously upholds its policies regarding acceptable reviews. Types of unacceptable reviews include the following in their content:
- Hate speech
- Personal information
- Repetitive content
- Solicitation and/or advertising
If your reviews are not showing up, one or more of these issues could be the cause of review suppression. Recently, the practice of unwanted “review gating” has grabbed Google’s attention.
Review gating involves a company surveying customers about how they would rate their experience with the company. While there’s nothing wrong with asking customers for their opinion, it is wrong to tell them to post only positive reviews but just share negative experiences privately with the company. That’s called review gating and Google could ban your listing permanently if they catch you doing it.
Elimination of Third-Party Reviews
Google used to allow the importation of reviews from sites like Facebook or Angie’s List. However, Google stopped doing this a while ago to reduce the number of fake and duplicate reviews. Companies that have had a Google listing previous to the cessation of third-party reviews will find these reviews gone. If a lot of third-party reviews comprised a listing, this mass elimination could prevent the listing from appearing on searches and Google Maps.
Keeping up with the constant changes enacted by Google reviews is not only time-consuming but often confusing. If you’re a busy business owner who relies on GMB for reviews, expanding your customer base, and growing your business, let our Google business management services do all the hard work for you. Contact Kick Digital Media today for more information.