Google Places: Are Your Reviews Still Missing? Tell Google

In the Places forums today, Google Employee noted the following about the many reports of lost reviews:

Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention and sorry for the slow response.

We suffered a temporary indexing outage beginning of October that prevented us from correctly serving reviews for some listings. The reviews should now be restored. Very sorry for the trouble this has caused for some of you!

Please let me know if you are experiencing further problems. If you are, please provide me with the following information to help us get to the bottom of the issue:
* URL of the affected listing (you can find it by clicking on “Link” in the top right bar of your listing’s Place Page)
* are reviews missing from the “Reviews by Google users” or “Reviews from around the web” section
* date reviews went missing
* number of reviews missing

Thanks,

Stephan

It is valuable to have Google publicly acknowledge the reason for these lost reviews but it appears that there are multiple causes that they become lost. Of the many that were lost in early October, most but not all seem to have returned. In my own case, reviews have been missing for almost 4 months and are lost for reasons other than this most current outage.

As I have noted previously, Google’s buggy handling of reviews is both a poor reflection of Google’s technical expertise and an issue that causes extreme pain amongst SMBs.

While they are taking the time to fix this very obvious, public problem they should provide additional resources in the forums, like Google Employee Stephan S. It would be the obvious customer service approach to take. Although it does appear that Google often misses the obvious in situations like this as they have a long history of ignoring these types of complaints.

If your reviews are still missing, you may report them review in either this thread or this one.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Places: Are Your Reviews Still Missing? Tell Google by

23 thoughts on “Google Places: Are Your Reviews Still Missing? Tell Google”

  1. Some reviews are tied to the whole clustering thingy. I have helped clients in the past force mergers of duplicate listings to help boost their review count and citation count as some of those duplicates had their own sets of reviews tied to them. Later when Google started to go on its crazy “everyone is a spammer” kick and began to penalize those with duplicate listings in their account we started to slowly remove some of those duplicates. Once a duplicate listing was removed from the account a number of reviews disappeared, like they were still clustered to that one duplicate, but later showed back up within a week or two.

    Google could be doing its own purge of duplicates in the system, maybe merged unclaimed listings or something like that. If a duplicate has merged with a claimed listing before that dup was ever claimed it sort of exists in the ether since it no longer appears in search results as it is merged with the claimed one that does. A business owner may not know they have or had those duplicates.

    But as for those loosing reviews for an extended period of time??? Who knows.

  2. I design webpages for other docs and myself of course. My map has been under review for 3+ months and others have maps that are losing reviews. Seems Google can’t keep up with helping us out as we have not heard a word from them.

  3. @Stever
    Yes it is related to the cluster but much less robust than anything entered via the Places Dashboard. I am trying to get an answer to the extended missing reviews problem but your explanation may apply even there.

    While my account was “Rejected”, my listing info went offline and a stripped down, unclaimed record appeared in Maps. It could be that the reviews are in fact associated with that listing.

    @Jeff
    They are certainly behind on fixing problems. You won’t probably ever hear from them but they will eventually get the problems sorted out…. it could be 10-12 weeks or longer.
    Mike

  4. Good to see some official word from Google on the missing reviews and a proactive response on other similar incidents and issues would help resolve things since part of the problem is not knowing what’s gone wrong – it’s much easier to resolve a problem when you know what it is, instead of second guessing and making assumptions.

  5. Thank you for posting this! This is a major problem for at least dozens of small business owners like myself. Google responded once and has been silent for over a week now. Hopefully more publicity will encourage them to resolve this, if that’s possible. And if it’s not, hey — let us know! Then at least we won’t have to check our place page everyday hoping they reappear.

  6. I encourage everyone here to write about this problem — if you have a blog, write about it! If you know someone at a news outlet — tell them. Over the last couple days, I’ve written statements asking for help from 10 newspapers and tech blogs. The bigger this story becomes, the more likely we are to get Google’s attention about these problems and the more likely they are to fix them. I hope you will also write to people and try to get the word out about this issue: outside of these Google forums.
    -Brian (80+ reviews missing since Oct 20).

  7. 2 weeks ago I had 9 fantastic reviews which have been instrumental in building my business. Then they all disappeared. As aresult we have noticed a downturn in new business enquiries. Would it be better to start from scratch, delete my present listing and then relist? What I cannot afford to do is just sit back and wait to see what happens.

  8. @Steve
    Never, never, NEVER delete a listing unless it has been suspended. Google is aware of the review problem and is working on it.

  9. The good news is that for most the review issue has been resolved to Google’s satisfaction. The Bad news is that those review still missing are likely considered spam by google.

  10. I lost some reviews this morning immediately after I contacted some of my clients and asked them to post reviews for me. It’s a real bummer.

    I also started and adwords express account and am currently running an ad and there are several missing 5star glowing reviews.

    Really upsetting.

  11. My client lost a couple of reviews on their places account and they are still missing. Unfortunately one nasty fake looking bad review is still there. I wish there would be a better way to report obviously fake reviews to Google. :-(

  12. I truly need help! I am the verified owner of a listing on Google North Bay Movers. I have worked so very hard earning 32 reviews on this listing. Twice I have had to endure my reviews missing. First my 5 of my reviews disappeared. 32 to 27 reviews. I then worked hard to get back to 32 reviews and now 22 reviews have disappeared. I now have only 10 reviews left. This is devastating. It is easy for others to read this but to live it is something that has to be experienced. No one from Google is dealing with this issue and I find it impossible to get a response from anyone at Google. Please help me find my reviews!! Owner of North Bay Movers. David Noland E-mail dnoland@northbaymovers.com Phone 707-483-4792

  13. @david

    I am afraid there is not much to be done. If they are not attached to a duplicate listing then I use the 6,6,6 rule.

    If they haven’t come back in 6 days they might come back in 6 weeks.

    If they have not comeback in 6 weeks they might come back in 6 months.

    If they don’t comeback in 6 months they they are caught in the 6th circle
    of hell.

    Google has posted this

  14. Hello. A couple of my reviews have disappeared over the past week or two. I have been reading about this and it seems to be a widespread problem which can cause huge problems for a small business owner like myself. It was suggested that I should not allow new reviews untill google has resolved this problem. What is the status of this situation? Will the missing review be restored?

  15. My reviews constantly are being deleted from my page on google. I want it fixed ASAP. My customers took time out of their lives to post these reviews for my company!

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