Google+ Local And Review Issues

Since the rollout of Google+ Local the complaints about missing reviews have risen dramatically in the forums. The issues that Google have had right along with losing reviews remain much the same and reviews can go missing for many of the same reasons:
– Marked as spam
– They are misplaced by Google briefly or for longer periods
– Users mark their review as private in the transition to PLus
– A listing has dupes and the review gets associated with the other listing
– A rating will show in the review count but not in the review corpus

But apparently something has changed. In conversations in the private forum Google noted the following high level points regarding spam that we could share and that may make life easier for some of you:

– car dealership reviews are usually, but not always, spammy
– Google will only allow one review per person per business
– Copy pasting the same review for multiple locations is also not allowed (Google will delete both instances of the review)
– Putting URLs in reviews will result in the review being marked as spam

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google+ Local And Review Issues by

160 thoughts on “Google+ Local And Review Issues”

  1. I think grace is spot on. I have had all my reviews not show up (at least 8 or 9) in the last few months. Whats the point of having a review center if you cant write a review, and google is not helping us here.

  2. MIke said that “you should be able to get a review every month or two” i have had none of my reviews posted in four months it is disappointing to have those reviews wasted.

  3. Can someone tell me where are all the reviews that have been written lately for me gone. Will they ever show up on my page.also what is wrong with all the reviews that have been written for me.

  4. The dash board and stats are reading old Google places. What about the new Google + ? It seems that for new clients, who have a Google + only the dash board is no longer working. Do I need to have both?

  5. I have been managing google places listings and adwords campaigns for over 5 years now.

    Something glitchy has happened to the algo starting in Summer 2012. All 8 businesses I manage lost reviews over the summer, my restuarants gained reviews from zagat. For months before that the reviews would come and go randomly seemed to be as they upgraded their website. They used to restore reviews if you reported it, that stopped over the summer.

    Calls to tech support on adwords and google are confusing… I was told by the last woman to delete my listing and start over? Reporting my issues doesn’t work, I am officially frustrated!

    I own a day spa in San Rafael I have always had a GOLDEN listing on google and suddenly this month it was crushed. I verified my business listing on google+ and my google places listing disappeared. Also, clicks plumitted as soon as we verifyed our google+ listing.

    The G+ local verification process linked our google places account. When we verified two businesses all hell broke loose. Now my shiney listing is in complete shambles I have contemplated deleting it and starting over……. My new restaurant had several great reviews that are all missing since the verification.

    GOOGLE GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER! Don’t become yelp…..

  6. We had a campaign to increase our Google reviews for our office. We know we should have had at least 40 reviews. Some were done in our office and others were done outside our office. Either way only 14 were ever reflected. Additionally as time went on, the reviews began to disappear and now we have only 9. Please help!

  7. I have had customers calling me saying that they posted a review. I go and look and they are not there! Also some of them have been removed! Does anyone know why this is?! or if they have a number to google so i can call and see what is going on please and thank you!

  8. Mariya,
    I had my SEO look into this for me and he said:
    (a) the reviewer must have already had a gmail account, not just signed up for one to leave a review
    (b) reviewers with a non-gmail account will not be able to leave a review, ever
    (c) Google limits reviews to 2 per month maximum
    (d) Google often removes reviews…as far back as a year or two in fact
    (e) Google review system is a waste of time…micro-managed by Google staff, it can never be a true representation of what a company’s customers/clients think about the services.

    Many people are now using social media (Facebook and Linked-in) to generate reviews, likes and feedback for the public as too many have been burned by Google Reviews.

    Personally, I have abandoned the practice of asking for Google Reviews…it’s time consuming for me and my client, it’s embarassing to have them culled out, it’s time consuming to have to explain what’s happening to the client…. you get the idea. In my experience (I always ask clients how they found me) only one of my many clients have ever looked up my 18 reviews.

  9. @Mariya

    Your SEO is wrong about “(c) Google limits reviews to 2 per month maximum,” you can have more.
    (e) Google review system is a waste of time… Not true, because Google relies on reviews to get more people to visit their site in order to generate more PPC. They are just slow to fix their filtering system.

    This is my opinion, based on what I see so far.

  10. To add some nuance to what Greg said which is correct, Google typically dials in things and then rebalances them after input and testing. It is more than likely that in the case of reviews, given the number of consumer complaints, that google will dial in the review filter to be less aggravating.

    Grace if you would like to read some ideas on how Google reviews can be integrated in a total review process read this post.

  11. Jade has said leaving reviews at the business on your own mobile, logged into your +Profile and using their wi-fi or leaving them on your normal home computer are OK.

    I have left test reviews from my own laptop, on my regular 2 ISP and Mobile WI-FI hotspot, for users with missing reviews with 100% success. Established +Profile, a few previous reviews, a number of Posts, professional and hobby, and about 200 Circled the Profile.

    On my forum thread about review spam theories a recent post points to Android posts being effective, but his PC posts may be polluted by client activity.

  12. All the comments here are from people trying to ‘game’ google to get higher rankings which is what Google is trying to stop. so go kick rocks.

  13. How do I go about removing a “Review” that is slanderious, a lie, ,hurtful and makes claims that our company is involved in drugs and pornography? It was submitted more than 4 years ago by an ex-wife as far as I can figure but I am just looking at it now. We dont do to much on the Internet so never really looked. This review appears when you google our bussiness name. I would really apreciate a responce from someone at Google that can walk me through this.

    1. @Pat
      It is necessary to mark the review as inappropriate. Google will, sooner or later, look at it to see if it violates their terms of service. I should warn you that that not many reviews are taken down since their TOS are very limited and it would require that the review include hate speech, profanity or racism.

      The best alternative is to put in place a review management process that gathers more reviews and pushes the old review off the page.

  14. I’m trying to leave a review for a place where I got my hair cut (and also a client of mine) and when I push the Review button nothing happens. It also won’t allow me to upload any pictures of her establishment. Does anyone know what might be the problem? It’s very annoying!

  15. Issue we have as a small business is that when we ask customers to post reviews, they have to become Google+ members, which many who want to provide reviews for other customers, won’t because of the + requirment.

    Then, from an owner’s standpoint it seems that their must be a limit to how many reviews a business can have as every time we get to 24 reviews, one gets reviewed and we are back to 23! Yet I see other companies with over 30 reviews.

    And of course, where does someone find out any Google policy on the subject. You can’t call anyone or email to inquire. You try to fill out one of their canned forms that doesn’t help (only to be asked at the end “Was this info useful”!)

    It would really be nice to have a phone# to call someone who speaks English or an email to inquire. It seems like they don’t want to hear from the “voice of the customer” and have gotten too big to care. Notice another big company (Pepsi) that finally needed to respond to a social media outcry to correct a beverage formula. Maybe, Google needs an outcry of critical mass to assist in correcting or at least providing an accountable channel for customers to get help!

    If anyone can shed light on assisting us, we would appreciate. Thanks

  16. The problem with Google+ reviews is it is too much to ask your customers to create accounts and join anything just to leave a review. Secondly, most people want to be somewhat anonymous when leaving a review.

  17. I just made out a review of a business and it didn’t show up. It shows up when I sign in but not when signed out. I did some web searches and apparently other people have been complaining of this for years and Google has done nothing. Maybe this is Google’s way of saying they don’t care about their users and for people to start using a different search engine.

  18. Hi Tonetare:
    I may be a contrarian, but I like the idea of Google … and Yelp quite frankly, filtering reviews. I know it can be maddening, but it’s the best way these services have to keep fake reviews off of their system. The very best way to have a review show up on Google is for an avid Google+er to leave a review for you. The same is true for Yelp. If you ask or try to direct all of your customers to leave reviews on Google or Yelp, where they are not qualified to leave reviews, this is going to happen every time. If you’re really concerned about customer reviews showing up on the Internet, have them go to Citysearch and sign-in with their Facebook account information. Their review or “tip” will show up immediately and it will be distributed on 9 other sites. Most of the other review sites like Citysearch don’t filter reviews like Google or Yelp does. If you’re attention is 100% on Google, you’re going to be frustrated and disappointed. Here’s my suggestion. Allow your customers to leave you a review where they are most qualified to leave a review for you. It’s better for you and it’s much, much easier for them. Overall, it’s a better customer service experience.

  19. The filtering reviews is the most pathetic system is ever been invented, why? Because the review score is not the true face of the company. There is a very simple explanation, unhappy people spend as much time as they need to leave a negative review, and happy people don’t bother. Its sad, because Google and Yelp are against the idea you asking to leave a review, they should voluntarily.

    I also noticed that Google filters almost all positive reviews but negative stay intact. I had a talk with a Google employee and I asked him about this. He answered, that happy people do not leave reviews. This is a sad truth. I my self don’t leave positive ones, unless I am so extremely happy, that I am ready to jump up and down. For example, I have been using appliance repair company for years, they have 3.1 rating. They fixed my appliances so many times, am I so happy that I am going to run to my computer, sign up, look for their Google + page and post a review? Of course not, I paid the guy, gave him a $20 tip, and that’s my saying thank you and that’s it! I have better things to do in my life.

    On the other hand, what would the unhappy client do? We all know… he would spend the whole day, might even miss his work, but he will make sure that a company, which he is unhappy with gets his Karma.

    My predictions in the future are these, sooner or later the filtering system must be banned, because there are ways how to make real clients to post real reviews, without filters.

  20. Correction: I also noticed that Google filters almost all positive reviews get filtered, but negative are not.

  21. Hi Mike:

    You commented in your article that one of the reasons Google hides reviews is because “Users mark their review as private in the transition to Plus”
    Is this still the case? Do new Google Plus users have the ability to hide or show reviews when they create an account?
    Thanks Mike.

  22. An employee at one of our clients posted a review from her personal g+ account. She has been a g+ user for over a year and didn’t include anything spammy from the list I saw above (urls, etc). We do see review count on our page has 1 review now (didn’t have any before) but the text of the review doesn’t show on our page. The text of the review does show on her g+ profile. Any thoughts or suggestions? Much appreciated.

  23. I am extremely frustrated, I have had plenty of customers write reviews on our Google review page and yet none of them are showing up but 1 very old (terrible) review from a senile woman, and 1 good review from 1 month ago. I don’t know why Google has been marking 95% off the reviews as spam. It is extremely frustrating and no one has been able to fix the problem that I have contacted.

    1. @Vanessa
      Google does not see it as a problem that reviews were taken down. They see it as the cost of fighting spammy reviews. If 95% of your reviews are being taken down then perhaps the process you are using or the way that reviewers are leaving reviews is hitting up against their spam fighting algos.

  24. I want to write a review about a business on google reviews but I have followed all the instructions on the site and it just won’t bring up a search tool to find the business, instead it offers me a hand full of businesses to choose from that I mostly have not heard of. Useless, dissfunctional, and un-user friendly, total waste of time trying to use the google review tool.

  25. Surely the content of a review is up to the reviewer, and is a review of my business and therefore between me and the customer. How do my reviewers know they should not use my URL, or other “spam triggers”, in their review?

  26. Hi there. I am the creator of a catalog app we launched June of 2014. The division of Philips I work for sells commercial and professional lighting through a B2B network of Sales Representatives and Distributors. This app was created as a mobile tool for them. It is aggravating that on the Google Store the App has 17 reviews, 13 of which are 4’s & 5’s, yet the only three reviews we are able to read/see are 2 very negative ones and one postitive. The link to our store page is:

    If the reason that so many of our positive reviews are not showing is that the individuals work for Philips, please help, as those are the customers the App is aimed at. Their reviews are very valuable to us. Is there a way that you can send us a copy of all of the reviews for our own internal use? Also, if you are going to show only three reviews and 2 are not good, we would prefer you don’t show any at all. Is that possible?

    Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.
    Cathleen Singer
    Marketing Specialist
    Philips Lighting

    1. Cathleen

      It would appear that the other 13 reviews that are not showing are not reviews but ratings only and thus have no content associated with them other than the star rating.

  27. How come People can not access my Google + page anymore.
    Is that because there are multiple listings? There are only 2 links, directions and website. On some businesses people can access the G+

    Here is the screen shot of my listing.

  28. How do I delete a review that I posted? On my laptop, I opened my google chrome search engine, typed in the company name in the search bar… The company popped up to the right of all search results and it said “write a review”. I posted the review and since then the issue was resolved and I agreed to delete the review. I have been searching and can’t seem to find out how to remove it. All of the results are for iphone or mobile ap. I followed instructions on how to remove by logging in to my Google account but still could not find how to remove it. HELP!!

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