As a business owner, your customers’ feedback is enormously important. Positive Google reviews can boost your online reputation, grab the attention of potential customers, and ultimately drive business growth. However, it can be disheartening when you notice that some of your customers’ reviews are not showing up on Google. This can be a serious issue as Google rankings for a particular business are based not only on its proportion of positive reviews, but also the total volume of reviews it accumulates.
If you find yourself pondering why this is happening, you’re not alone. Missing online reviews are a common problem that, in many cases, can be easily addressed. In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons why certain Google reviews disappeared (or never appeared in the first place) and explore ways to address the issue.
Google’s Review Filtering Algorithm
Google employs a sophisticated review filtering algorithm to maintain the integrity of its review system. The algorithm automatically detects and removes fake or spammy reviews, ensuring that only genuine feedback from real customers remains visible. While this filtering process helps to weed out misleading reviews, it may also mistakenly filter out some authentic ones. If your customers use similar IP addresses or share common keywords in their reviews, Google may view them as suspicious, leading to the deletion of valid reviews.
A closely related issue is when Google blocks reviews for certain types of businesses, such as educational institutions. For businesses that are blocked in this manner, all new reviews are automatically filtered out, possibly in an effort to prevent spam. If you suspect your business is subject to this wholesale rejection of reviews, try changing the category your Google Business Profile is registered under. Some business owners have found that simply taking this step enables new reviews to be posted going forward.
Incomplete Google Business Profile Listing
Ensuring your Google Business Profile listing is complete and accurate is crucial for showcasing customer reviews. If your Google Business Profile listing lacks essential information, such as a valid physical address, phone number, or website URL, Google may hesitate to display reviews.
Fortunately, this is usually an easy fix. Simply log into your Google Business Profile account and fill in or update any required information.
A common problem closely related to incomplete listings is the existence of duplicate listings. If you have a second Google business listing—and many people do without even realizing it—then it’s possible that a substantial number of reviews are being posted to the duplicate page.
Use the Google search engine to check whether you have more than one page showing up under your local business name; if this is the case, notify Google support. You may also be able to adjust the settings on your Google Business Profile dashboard to delete the duplicate listing yourself.
Reviews Violating Google’s Guidelines
Google has strict guidelines for reviews, and any violation could result in the reviews being hidden or removed. Even if a review eludes the filtering algorithm, it is subject to manual inspection by the Google team, and can be deleted if it is found to violate content rules. Examples of violations include the following:
- Fake Reviews – Reviews that are fabricated, whether by competitors or individuals with no genuine experience of the business, are prohibited.
- Inappropriate Language – Reviews containing offensive or abusive language are considered violations and will likely be taken down.
- Personal Attacks or Defamation – Reviews that contain personal attacks against a business owner, employees, or other customers will be removed.
- Conflict of Interest – If a review is written by someone with a clear conflict of interest, such as an employee of the business, it may be removed.
- Restricted Content – Certain types of content, such as sexually explicit material, hate speech, or illegal content, are strictly forbidden on Google.
- Spam or Self-Promotion – Online reviews that are overly promotional or spammy in nature may be removed.
- Reviews Not Relevant to the Business – Reviews that do not pertain to the specific business or its products/services may be removed.
- Plagiarized Content – Reviews that are copied verbatim from other sources or are identical to reviews posted for different businesses may be considered violations and removed.
- URL in the Text – To prevent spam and self-promotion, Google forbids reviewers from including links in their comments.
- Review Manipulation – Attempts to manipulate a business’s overall rating by posting multiple reviews from the same account or soliciting positive reviews from customers can lead to the removal of such reviews.
It’s vital to adhere to Google’s guidelines and encourage genuine, honest feedback from customers to avoid running afoul of their policies.
Time Delay in Displaying Reviews
Google’s review system operates in real time, but there may still be a delay before new reviews appear. This delay is normal and can be attributed to various factors, such as server processing times or moderation checks. Patience is key—your reviews should eventually show up, provided they comply with Google’s content guidelines.
Inactive Business Account
Businesses can lose access to their account for inactivity. Or as Google puts it: “Merchants that don’t access their Google Business Profile for long periods of time may have their access revoked and content removed after adequate warning.” When this occurs, you will not be able to receive or respond to customer reviews. Contact Google support immediately to get your account reverified.
Try ReviewInc’s Reputation Management Platform
Customer feedback is the lifeblood of any successful business, and Google reviews play a pivotal role in shaping your online reputation. Understanding the factors that contribute to reviews not showing up can help you address the issue effectively.
Remember, building a strong online presence takes time and effort. By nurturing positive relationships with your customers and providing exceptional products and services, you’ll undoubtedly see your Google reviews flourish, bolstering your credibility. Using ReviewInc’s automated reputation management system can provide invaluable aid to any online business that wants to stay on top of their customer reviews.
ReviewInc’s automated software offers 24/7 monitoring of business review websites, including Google, and supplies all the tools necessary to respond and manage this feedback effectively. Don’t let bad reviews mar the reputation of your business—ask for a non-obligation one-on-one live ReviewInc demo today.