Google’s New Mobile Search Inadvertently Removes Review Button From Places Page

Google rolled out a very slick update to their iPhone App several days ago. Its fast and essentially makes Place page content almost instantly available. Google apparently upgraded the iPhone Safari app at the same and provided a similarly fast access to the Places data.

new iPhone Google Search App

Unfortunately as you can see in the Google screen shot above, in the app, in Safari search and on some Androids, the button to review a business is missing in action. Google has indicated that they are aware of the bug and are working on a fix.

In the meantime if you are using an iPad or mobile devices to access your Places page so that client can leave reviews you are in a bit of a sticky wicket. There are two work arounds until Google fixes the issue.

To get to a page that will give users the review button you can create a url like this that will work on an iPhone or iPad:

https://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en&georestrict=input_srcid:b041566bdd3e5aca

To generate the URL with the srcid code go into the dashboard and click on View and it will generate the URL.

Another tactic is to take the regular cid link and add the “open review box” code (&dtab=2&action=openratings) to the end of the standard Place page link:

https://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=3291747407840809159&dtab=2&action=openratings

This URL will take the iPhone or iPad directly to the mobile review form rather than stopping at the Places page which might be a better solution anyways.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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28 thoughts on “Google’s New Mobile Search Inadvertently Removes Review Button From Places Page”

  1. Mike, just a couple of notes:

    It turns out that the reviews functionality also doesn’t work on Android devices when you use the web app. It works only if you use the Google Maps app.

    The new update is also available for Android devices, not just iOS ;)

  2. We are also seeing the “publish” button missing in action in a laptop/desktop review writing attempt. Perhaps these bugs will all be resolved at the same time!

  3. @Sharon

    You don’t get the “publish” button when a user does not yet have a public Google Places nickname. If the user clicks on the stars FIRST they will be given an option tp “Set up your nickname and start rating places to get personalized recommendations in search.” This is a critical first step and one that is one of the lamest UI designs that I have ever seen.

  4. @Mike

    You are right as always! It does seem that this “critical first step” is a bit much. Perhaps it is wishful thinking on someone’s part that this requirement might help to reduce annonymous (aka evil) reviews.

  5. @Sharon

    It is a crazy first step that came out of the Hotpot days… and has yet to be fully corrected. I think it has nothing to do with reducing anonymous reviews and everything to do with Google not having upgraded the review process of late because they have bigger fish to fry (from their POV)… I think it is attrocious…and enough to keep any but the most avid Google fans away from the review process.

  6. Hi Mike, I’m seeing the first step (nickname in hotpot edit broken, im in UK), you seeing same thing over there? (everywhere everyone?)

    changed since yesterday 3pm ish GMT

  7. I am not seeing the blue leave a review on my PC, Android mobile, Android Tablet, or Ipod.
    Do we know if there are official occasions when the blue box will not be there? As in if we are logged into the gmail account used to claim the local listing, or, if we are at the location while accessing that locations listing?

    Is it a bug that the review box just dissappears and appears occasionly?

    Thanks all; thanks Mike!

  8. Does anyone know when this will be fixed?!

    Also neither one of the URLs work listed to have mybcustomers leave a review.

    Help! I run a plumbing company and need a place for my. Us timers to leave a google review!

    Lindsey

  9. @Lindsey

    I would suggest that since it hasn’t been fixed, Google has little or no intention of fixing it or don’t see it as a problem or even intentionally broke it themselves.

    Here are the directions for the URL that should work on the iPad.
    – Go to Google plus Local (https://plus.google.com/u/0/local)
    – Do a search for the business you want to write reviews for: Be as specific as possible, the goal is to have only 1 result show up in the search results (use identical company name, address, etc)
    – Now that you’ve performed the search, copy the resulting URL….it should look like this:
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/local/Olean%20NY/s/Blumenthals.com

    This should work on the iPad. Click on pencil above photo to leave review.

  10. @Mike

    I went to the site: https://plus.google.com/u/0/local

    Here, on my iPad i can not do as search for a business. The search bar on the iPad is not there but is there on my macbook laptop.

    It seems like I can write a review on my laptop but not any Ipad, iPhone or Android device.

    help!

    Lindsey

  11. Lindsey

    This URL is better as it only shows your business: http://goo.gl/U4xHG

    Send this URL to your iPad or iPhone, bookmark it or create a QR code from it. Click on the pen to write the review.

    To generate these:
    1- Go to G+ Local.
    2- Create a search that returns only your business
    3- Shorten if necessary
    4- Send to iPad

    Please let me know if this worked.

  12. Hi Mike,

    I’m really hoping you will be able to help me. I work at a small medical clinic, and we are askign patients to write reviews for us on Google+ about their experiences. However, we only have an iPad for them to use for these reviews. I have read all of your advice above, but I still can’t get the “write a review” button to show up on the iPad. Here is the listing for our business: https://plus.google.com/115640950660277941340/about?hl=en#115640950660277941340/about?hl=en

    I’ve tried the two work arounds you explained above, but they aren’t working for me. Any other ideas or suggestions about how to get this to work? Seems very silly that Google hasn’t corrected this issues since it’s been going on for such a long time… seems like they don’t care. I also downloaded the Google+ app for the iPad but don’t see any option for writing a review there either. Please help if you can! Thank you!

  13. This url: http://goo.gl/waFYx is about as close as you can get. It is necessary for the user to sign into Google before clicking on the URL. The pen should be visible in the right hand upper quadrant.

    I think it probably more trouble than its worth. Makes more sense to just write up instructions for Google, CitySearch, Yahoo, RateMD, Yelp and whatever else the patient might use and hand it out to them.

  14. Wow Mike, that actually worked! Thank you so much :) I have read from others that when they’ve used this work around it will say that the review posts, but then it never actually shows up. Have you experienced that as well? I’m going to give this a try today, and see how it goes. We also have instructions printed out for patient to take home about doing reviews, but I know when I’ve done this at a different medical clinic 9/10 people who say they’re interested end up forgetting/getting busy/etc. and don’t complete the reviews. That’s why we would really like to capture them while they’re waiting for their appointment, etc. Thank you again for your quick response!!

  15. @Tyler
    Google is looking for real reviews from real people that THEY trust. Many new reviews from new reviewers will disappear due to this fact.

    My question to you is: So what if 9 out 10 don’t do it. If you have 20 patients a day and 100 week and 5200 patients a year and only 10% leave you a review thats 520 reviews a year. Do you really need more than that?

    Also if you give the user the choice of where to leave it, the various filters are less likely to prevent it from being displayed as that user is known on the system that they pick.

  16. That’s a good point Mike. Thanks for putting it in that perspective. I’ve put the instructions out and our front desk staff is going to start handing them out to patients. Really I just want to get fair reviews out there about us… we haven’t had a Google Reviews in the past 3 years and I know that we have had plenty of happy patients since then (I started at this clinic 2 weeks ago). We’ve also had a few people who have been adding abusive reviews (drug seekers who were upset when they were not given pain medications), as well as a negative review from 3 years ago that I plan to respond to today. We want valid reviews and understand there are times when people are happy, and that’s totally fine because that’s life. We want to know when we make mistakes since that gives us the chance to improve and correct the issue. Thanks again for your help and for that new perspective!

  17. New Google Plus Reviewers.
    So you believe that the first review or first few reviews by a Google Plus user will be deleted by Google.
    So, should they “throw away” their first reviews on Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Sears, McDonalds, Burger King?
    Should they signup now and “age” their Google Plus account to gain trust?
    How else might they gain Google’s trust?
    I don’t see why a new review should be less trustworthy??

  18. Since the only way to leave a review today (in mobile) is through Google Maps, the idea is to send the customer to the business listing in Google Maps app.

    This can be achieved using a simple QR Code. The trick is to use the QR Code not in a conventional way (putting a URL) but encoding a Geo-location that when scanned will open the map application instead of a browser.

    I’ve published an article today with detailed explanation in a step by step procedure on how to use QR codes this way.
    http://georillas.com/how-to-write-reviews-on-google-local-using-mobile-devices/

    Try it, let me know if it works for you. I’ll really appreciate your point of view and comments.

    Thank you!

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