Did I overlook a post on disappearing listings, or is this one a follow-up to discussions regarding Google’s deletion of reviews it considers to be spam?
In fairness (and more accurately to play Devil’s advocate), a company I used to work for has dozens of positive reviews on a 3rd party small business directory/networking site at which the person in charge of internet promotions has spent many an hour.
I doubt if any of them are real. This site is not one which was used as a source for reviews in Places, and for good reason. The users are constantly scratching each other’s backs.
Is that what’s going on here (Google deleting spammy reviews), or are there really legitimately disappearing reviews written by people who are real customers of the company they are reviewing, and are not only writing it in hopes of getting a favorable review in return?
I don’t have an opinion one way or the other on this, for whatever it’s worth. I’ve seen ads for services claiming they can get online retailers mad reviews online, but have never done business with any of them. I don’t know if they’re legitimate reviews or not. All I know is that the very few real reviews of my own employer are no longer available, but there were only two or three to begin with.
Like I said, I still haven’t made up my mind about whether I’m pleased by the discontinuation of 3rd party reviews or not.
Google has acknowledged that for various technical reasons that have nothing to do with spam, they lose, misplace or otherwise don’t associate legitimate reviews with listings.
They also happen to remove good reviews along with the spam but that is another issue.
It has long been my contention they need to invest more in the proper handling of good and bad reviews, keep track of them all, improve their review spam algo and be more transparent in the way that they treat reviews.
It is good that they remove spammy reviews, it is not good that they lose lots of good reviews or can no longer associate them with your listing.