Ever had an amazing 5-star Google review from a client that just disappeared? You are not alone. Google has specific policies in which they will automatically remove certain reviews, and here is why.
Google will hands down remove any review that seems “spammy,” even if that was never the intent of the review. What signals a potentially spammy review? Reviews that include phone numbers or URLs could be seen as an advertisement, thus being flagged as spam.
Maybe neither of these was the case for your client’s review.
Here are some other factors that could have lead to its removal:
- Duplicate review – If the review was also left on your business Facebook page or website, it is likely that the review was seen as a duplicate, which would violate Google’s policy and lead to removal.
- Current employee – If the person who left the review is a current employee of yours, it could be seen as a conflict of interest. Of course your employees have positive things to say about you and your business, but unfortunately, sharing those kind words as a Google review could wind up getting removed.
- Review was left by the manager of your Google+ page – Again, this could be seen as a conflict of interest. If the person who left the review is also the manager of your Google+ page, their review may not stick around very long.
- Same computer, same IP address – Believe it or not, but Google can detect which computer was used to post the review. The reason this could be an issue is they want to make sure you or someone else you know isn’t creating fake accounts to leave multiple reviews. This could even be an issue if different computers in the same location (like at your business or home) were used to post reviews. Be sure not to set up a “review station” in your office that clients use time and time again.
- Influx of reviews – If you received a significant amount of reviews all at once, this looks fishy, and it may catch Google’s attention and lead to deletion of the reviews. This same thought applies to the number of reviews you have in comparison to other businesses in your industry. If you have significantly more reviews than other businesses like yours, this could signal a red flag for deletion.
- Review was removed by user – It is possible the review was removed by the user. This could happen for any reason – by accident or maybe the client had an unfavorable experience later on. If you believe either of these reasons could be the case, it may behoove you to contact that client and find out for sure. This could even turn into an opportunity for you to gain their trust again.
- New user – If the person leaving the review is new to Google+, it may be seen as a fake account. Hopefully, clients posting reviews frequent their Google+ account. Otherwise, reviews from new accounts could trip Google’s spam alarm.
Other reasons could include:
- Your business has no other reviews anywhere else online (Facebook, business website, Yelp, etc.).
- You have multiple Google account pages from different locations
- People are leaving reviews originating from the same place (as in by clicking a URL from an email you send to clients).
Why is Google monitoring reviews?
The purpose of their “big brother” approach is to eliminate spam. Google reviews are meant to provide recommendations that are helpful and from trustworthy sources. The unfortunate part is that Google’s algorithm can end up deleting legitimate reviews. So, it is a good idea to keep a copy of each review offline. For example, if you receive a notification that a new review has been posted, go ahead and save a copy on your computer or an external hard drive. That way, if it is a legit review that gets deleted, you can try to figure out why it was removed. At the very least, you could post it on your business website!
Most all business owners understand the importance of customer reviews, but do you really have time to generate, review, and manage these reviews? Probably not. That is why at Bryant Consultants we take care of this important task for you. Our team of professionals can provide fast, secure, and continuous monitoring for your business. For more information, contact Bryant Consultants by calling (877) 768-4799. No office is out of reach for us; we will even come to you for a consultation!