Are you a business owner whose reviews have disappeared from your Google Local page? One day, you had a great review and when you scanned back through the reviews it was gone. Don’t let yourself believe this is a glitch in the system; there is a reason and a method to these lost reviews.
The disappearance of these reviews has been monitored and under suspicion since 2006. Google has placed a filter to avoid black-hat SEO tactics such as spam reviews. This is when a group of individuals posts false reviews on the Google Local Page to boost their page rankings. In their goal to avoid fake comments, there has been an unfortunate loss of legitimate reviews which has left many business owners frustrated. For more information on fake social media followers read: Fake Social Media Followers.
If you have lost a Google Local Page review and would like Google to restore it: Click Here.
Fair warning, with any communication to the great Google a response is never guaranteed.
What Are the Rules for Reviews?
Often to increase rankings, businesses solicit for reviews. For example: “Post a review on our Google Local Page and receive 10% off your next rafting trip”. This mass call for reviews results in a rush of evaluations within a close time frame which can result in solicited reviews being flagged and ultimately deleted from your business profile. Due to the flagging, you run the risk of losing legitimate reviews which have been batched into a specific time frame.
I believe it is Google’s goal to have people review on their own accord, without being prompted. If your customers are so pleased with your services they are compelled to write, it will result in a random pattern of reviews.
But, What if Your Business works in Waves?
A big question on my mind is, “What if I run an event planning company?” Events are not held on a consistent path, there are spikes and naturally with these spikes may come waves of reviews. How is a small business to hold these legitimate reviews if the natural cycle of business is moving from peak to peak?
As an SEO specialist I can say we are constantly chasing after Google and their algorithm change. As much as you try to cut them out of the chain of influence, it’s Google’s game with their rules. This may be one instance where Google needs to reconsider their filter to avoid losing legitimate reviews for business owners. One simple solution is for businesses to start looking for other forms of review sources to have people check out and post their reviews, one that will not filter the reviews without warning. I am not saying to avoid using Google reviews period, the reviews will always matter in your rankings and they will still occur naturally. But, instead directing your personal reviews to another website may be a profitable move.
Reviews With A Safety Net
If you are a business that does work in waves, you should be cautious of your reviews. A good practice to adapt would be copying and keeping any legitimate reviews you do receive. If they are deleted, you will have no other way to refer to the reviews without a copy. Make sure you set up your Google Local Page to send your e-mails whenever you receive a new review.
I know it is very difficult to receive business reviews and when you do get them they mean a lot. It’s a way for people publicly proclaim how you have been doing. As rare as it may be in some work places to receive feedback, you get the joy of feedback of your work from your customers and through a filter those legitimate may be incorrectly deemed fake. This is still a situation which is completely speculative, but under the microscope to be watched. If you have any updates on this situation or you have been affected please tell us about your experience.