Google is the world's most popular search engine, and its business listings feature is a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes. When customers search for a business on Google, they're presented with key information like the business address, phone number, hours of operation, and, most importantly, reviews.
Google reviews are a great way to build trust with potential customers and encourage them to do business with you. But there’s a problem. Google has been known to remove reviews from business pages – even when those reviews are legitimate. This can be frustrating for businesses that have worked hard to get positive reviews from their customers.
Other times reviews are delayed significantly before showing up on your business page.
So why does Google delay or remove reviews? And what can businesses do about it? Here’s what you need to know.
First, it's important to understand that Google is constantly changing and updating its algorithms. This means that the way reviews are displayed on your business page can also change from time to time.
The most common reason for reviews to be removed is that they violate Google's review policies. These policies are designed to protect both businesses and customers from fraud and abuse. Some examples of review violations include:
If a review violates one of these policies, it will likely be removed by Google.
Sensitive information includes things like an individual's full name, email address, phone number, physical address, etc. This information is considered private and shouldn't be included in a review for safety reasons. If a review contains sensitive information, it will likely be delayed as Google removes the offending information before publishing the review.
To avoid having sensitive information included in your reviews, make sure you remind customers not to include any private information when they're writing their reviews.
Another reason why a review may be delayed is that it needs to be verified by a real person. This verification process can sometimes take a few days.
If you've recently made changes to your business page (you changed your hours, added a new category, etc.), there's a chance this could delay the publication of new reviews for up to two weeks as Google updates its records for your page. Old reviews shouldn't be affected by these changes, but any new ones may take longer than usual to appear on your page.
Reviews may disappear due to Google prioritizing newer reviews over older ones. So if you have a lot of positive reviews from years ago, they may not be appearing on your page any longer. That’s one reason why it’s so important to continue getting current positive reviews.
Unfortunately, there's always the possibility that someone might try to spam your business page with fake reviews in an attempt to either boost your ratings or lower them. These reviewers often write vague or generic reviews that don't provide any real insights into the customer experience.
While there's no guaranteed way to prevent this from happening, there are a few things you can do that may help:
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent delays or removals in the future.
First, make sure your business has a verified Google Business Profile. This verification process can help ensure that your reviews are visible as soon as they're posted.
Second, when asking for reviews, ask for as much detailed information as possible, but no personal information. Google likes enough specificity to show that the review is from a real customer.
If you believe that a review has been wrongfully removed, you can appeal to Google directly by filling out this form. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that Google will reinstate the review, but it's worth a shot.
The best practice is to get consistently positive reviews from your customers. Praze can help automate the process so you can maximize your reviews effortlessly.
Learn more at www.praze.com.