Recently missing Google Place’s reviews has gotten even worse then normal. Missing reviews has always been a challenge for Google Places, just look at all the threads on Google Places forum about it. Not sure if it’s a bug or a really unsophisticated spam algorithm. Personally I say bug. Looks like Google Places is aware of the problem and doesn’t look like much can be done. It’s hard and really frustrating for small businesses when they lose 100% legit reviews. I am often lost for words to explain this to small business owners.
My favorite point of his is:
“2) Provide a dose of humor and reality: Since there is not much a client or SEO can do, I also I provide them with the 6,6,6 rule for lost reviews to guide them as to what to expect in terms of recovery of the reviews. It might provide some small comfort.
What is the 6,6,6 review rule? (any client imagined thoughts about the devil suggested by my guideline are actively encouraged)
- If reviews don’t come back to the Google Places page in 6 days, they might return in 6 weeks
- If they don’t return in 6 weeks they might return in 6 months
- If they don’t return in 6 months they have descended to Dante’s 6th Ring of Hell”
I think this is great advice and so true! We have to stay sane with a good sense of humor about it all, especially when so little can be done.
Vanessa (a Google employee with Google Places) wrote a great post with 11 points on their help forum here. It is titled “Having technical issues with the reviews on your listing? Read this first“. I think it is so important for some of my readers I am going to re-post it here.
Vanessa’s Post on Missing Reviews in Google Places:
“1. Where did my reviews go?You may have seen reviews suddenly disappear from your listing. A few reasons why that may be the case:
- Reviews from third-party websites are no longer displayed on Google Places listings. Below the reviews by Google users, we may link “Reviews around the web” on third-party sites.
- Reviews are removed from Google Maps because they exhibit spammy behavior. We can’t share specifics about what signals we use, but our goal is to provide end-users with high-quality information they can trust and use that info to make informed decisions. We also remove reviews that violate our content policy guidelines. We know that sometimes our algorithms may flag and remove legitimate reviews in our effort to combat abuse, but believe that overall, these measures are helping to ensure that the reviews appearing on Place pages are authentic, relevant and useful. Here’s our reviews posting guidelines and policy: http://goo.gl/LtFCS
- We have data spread across multiple databases, and we bring all that information together to create your local listing. Reviews can sometimes be dropped from Place pages when we’re trying to reconcile all that information. As we mentioned at the beginning of this note: This is a known issue, and we are working to make it better.
- There are duplicates of the business’s listing, and your reviews are living on one of these duplicates.
- Occasionally, there is a technical issue that causes Place page reviews to drop from Google Maps for a short period of time (a few days) and then reappear on your listing. This happens when we push updates to our listings database. Again, this is a known issue, and we are working to make it better.2. How do I know which of the above reasons is affecting my listing?There’s not much you can do to troubleshoot this — it requires a deeper dive into our system’s backend. In the case of #4, try searching for your business’s exact name or address on maps.google.com to find duplicate listings.3. How do I get them back on my listing?There’s no way currently to quickly, easily and absolutely get your reviews back on to your listing, nor is there much our support team can do to ensure they get reinstated. If we dropped them during a reconciliation process, you’ll see them reappear after a few days. Fixing this is a priority for us, and we’re working on long-term solutions to resolve most of these cases.If you see your reviews on a duplicate listing, we can try to merge the duplicates back in to one listing. Two things to note: 1) It takes several weeks to merge listings, and 2) There is no guarantee that merging the listings will bring the reviews back. Contact support using this form: Select I have verified > Yes > There is a duplicate — give the support team a few days to get back to you, they’ve got a lot of tickets to work through.4. Where are my owner responses?Here’s the deal: Google Places allows multiple people to own a listing. So you may have claimed your account, but someone else may have claimed it before you and is still considered an “owner” of the listing. The last person to have updated the listing is considered the main owner, and only responses from that account will appear live on the listing (so, if the other owner updates the account after you had left your response, your responses will be removed from the listing). Here’s something you can do to make sure you’re the most recent owner: Go into your Places account, click to Edit your listing, don’t touch anything, and hit “Submit.” That should ping our system, to let us know you’re the most recent owner. Give it a couple days, now try again to leave a response. If you’re still not seeing the option to write a response, contact support, and ask them to take a look to see if there are other accounts that own the listing:Link to contact form: http://support.google.
com/places/bin/static.py?hl= en&ts=1386120&page=ts.csSelect: Someone else has verified the listing.5. That review is clearly fake, written by an ex-employee, etc. — how can I get it removed from my listing?There’s no guarantee we will remove it, but you can report it directly to Google Places support and we will investigate:Select: I have verified > Yes > Reviews > My page features false or inappropriate reviews > Fill out the form, hit Submit, and await an e-mail response from a member of our support team.
6. Why are the reviews on my listing not related to my business?Reviews can sometimes get reassociated to another, similarly related listing. If you’re seeing reviews on your listing that are not related to your business, please use this Help Center form to get in touch with our team, and we’ll work on getting it removed:Select: I have verified > Yes > Reviews > My page features false or inappropriate reviews > Fill out the form, hit Submit, and await an e-mail response from a member of our support team.7. One of the links in “Reviews from around the web” is wrong — it’s going to a page of reviews about an unrelated business. How do I get rid of it?Those links are generated algorithmically, and sometimes we get it wrong. If you see an incorrect link, please use our Help Center troubleshooter to get in touch with our team, and we’ll work on getting it removed (note: it takes several weeks to fix):Select: I have verified > Yes > Reviews > My page features false or inappropriate reviews > Fill out the form, hit Submit, and await an e-mail response from a member of our support team.8. Why can’t my customer leave a review?Say your customer tells you that they’ve gone to your listing, but were unable to submit a review. It’s very difficult for us to troubleshoot and investigate secondhand reports. Ask them if they’ve created an account to review on Google (they should get a prompt when they go to leave the review, and they should be logged in to their own Google account before selecting a reviews nickname). Ask them if they used the 5-star rating feature just above the review (if they haven’t done this, the Publish button will be disabled and they will not be able to post the review). Ask them to try posting a response in a different browser. Ask them to wait a few minutes and try again.9. How can I report spammy reviews?Use the “Report as inappropriate” button next to the review to tell us you think it’s spam, and we’ll look into it. If you’re seeing a large network of spam, too many for you to individually mark each one, start a new thread in the forum. We’re looking out for those reports and investigating.10. I’ve reported a review on my listing, but it’s still there. Why won’t you remove it?Note that we very rarely remove reviews. You can read our removal guidelines here.11. But none of these questions address the issue I’m experiencing?The information above addresses almost all the issues you can experience with reviews on your listing. But we know that sometimes, new bugs can crop up. So if none of the information above applies to you, start a new thread here in the Business forum and we’ll investigate.”
Some other related post to missing reviews in Google Places:
Are you missing reviews from your Google Places listing? If so, share your story below. Let us know what you think of Google and this whole missing reviews problem?