Ok, enough is enough. My Google Places reviews have been missing since mid summer 2010 and I have waited patiently for their return.
Stuff happens in a complex system and while I don’t like it, at some level I do understand it. I have always advocated for others that these reviews should be resurfaced and those that are legit be reassociated with the appropriate Places Page.
But I was looking at reviews in the context of a new talk I am giving this week at the UBL user conference in Charlotte and I realized that some of the reviews that had been lost from my account had more than just commercial value. They hold personal and relationship value as well. When a person you respect leaves a review it means more to me than just a review.
David Mihm is one of the folks in the local search industry that I appreciate on a daily basis for his clear thoughts, his concern for the SMB, his keen sense of industry trends and most importantly for his friendship. The review he left is still visible in his user profile but not on my Places Page. I would like the world to be able to see it as well:
Blumenthals.Com Web Hosting & Computer Repair 201 N Union St # 317, Olean, NY 14760
The Best in Local SEO – Apr 23, 2009
Having read Mike’s blog for several years, and worked with him on both research and client projects, I can say he is absolutely at the forefront of our industry. I can’t imagine a better person to hire if you’re interested in more exposure via Local Search.
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How did the review get lost? Its a bit of a long journey through the bowels of the Google Places’s rejection algo. Last summer my listing was rejected as part of their algo based efforts to cleanse the index…. not because I was spamming or otherwise abusing the system but because I had a period in our business name (blumenthals.com). It took me a while to figure that out and while that was taking place, Google decided to give me a new CID, the unique cluster ID that refers to my business. My reviews stayed with the old CID and have never found their way back to my new one.
Shortly after my fiasco they changed their policy and algo to allow the DOT back into my name.
The reviews are not really lost they are just not seen in my current Places Page. They can still be seen in the review history of the person that left them. Mine is still visible in David’s review history but if you click through the link on that page: Blumenthals.Com Web Hosting & Computer Repair all it does it take you to the “We currently do not support the location” message.
Google has been fixing some review bugs but mostly those that are consumer facing. The business facing review bugs seem to not get fixed in anything approaching a timely manner. They get shifted to the bottom of the heap every time there is a new feature or update and thus new bugs to fix.
I lost many, many other reviews. I would like them all back. But if I can get only one then give me David’s.