More threads by Tim Colling

Tim Colling

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In the past 24 hours, we are seeing a significant increase in reviews being removed from one of our clients. They had 65 reviews yesterday, and today 15 of those have been removed. Fourteen removed reviews were 4- or 5-star reviews, and one was a 1-star.

We wrote a custom app that monitors our clients' Google Business Profiles and notifies us with the details of any reviews that are removed. That app runs every 24 hours, and we're seeing more reviews being removed one at a time but 15 out of 65 is a major escalation.

I can't help but wonder whether someone is targeting these clients with a malicious campaign to remove their favorable reviews.

Does anyone have anything similar happening right now with their clients?
 
Solution
Many months I tabulate the total forum complaints about missing reviews.

I just did a mid month check and over halfway through the month there are 113 reports of missing reviews. This is consistent with the past year or so when it has been running 200-250 a month.

Screen Shot 2023-05-17 at 8.27.58 AM.jpg
In the past 24 hours, we are seeing a significant increase in reviews being removed from one of our clients. They had 65 reviews yesterday, and today 15 of those have been removed. Fourteen removed reviews were 4- or 5-star reviews, and one was a 1-star.

We wrote a custom app that monitors our clients' Google Business Profiles and notifies us with the details of any reviews that are removed. That app runs every 24 hours, and we're seeing more reviews being removed one at a time but 15 out of 65 is a major escalation.

I can't help but wonder whether someone is targeting these clients with a malicious campaign to remove their favorable reviews.

Does anyone have anything similar happening right now with their clients?

I follow reports of review takedowns in the forum and we see these types of reports periodically. Nothing extraordinary at the moment though. Usually the large take downs seem to be in a case by case basis when the filter washes through.

It is conceivable that someone filed a report that caused Google to look harder but it would have still been necessary to go through Google’s processes, rules and grading.

It point out though why you need to keep a record of existing review content and reviewers so you can escalate if need be.
 
In the past 24 hours, we are seeing a significant increase in reviews being removed from one of our clients. They had 65 reviews yesterday, and today 15 of those have been removed. Fourteen removed reviews were 4- or 5-star reviews, and one was a 1-star.

We wrote a custom app that monitors our clients' Google Business Profiles and notifies us with the details of any reviews that are removed. That app runs every 24 hours, and we're seeing more reviews being removed one at a time but 15 out of 65 is a major escalation.

I can't help but wonder whether someone is targeting these clients with a malicious campaign to remove their favorable reviews.

Does anyone have anything similar happening right now with their clients?

The last time this happened, it took Google a day to update the review counts. I wonder if the reviews were removed on Sunday, and you are seeing the update count today.
 
In the past 24 hours, we are seeing a significant increase in reviews being removed from one of our clients. They had 65 reviews yesterday, and today 15 of those have been removed. Fourteen removed reviews were 4- or 5-star reviews, and one was a 1-star.

We wrote a custom app that monitors our clients' Google Business Profiles and notifies us with the details of any reviews that are removed. That app runs every 24 hours, and we're seeing more reviews being removed one at a time but 15 out of 65 is a major escalation.

I can't help but wonder whether someone is targeting these clients with a malicious campaign to remove their favorable reviews.

Does anyone have anything similar happening right now with their clients?

I'm checking now- thanks for the heads up! Sounds like your app is pretty awesome! Also, I remember a few years back Google did this to any reviews left using Birdeye. The review platform was pre-populating 5 stars so Google removed any that came in through Birdeye.
 
The last time this happened, it took Google a day to update the review counts. I wonder if the reviews were removed on Sunday, and you are seeing the update count today.

Thanks, @keyserholiday. With our app, we keep track of the actual reviews, not just the counts. It reports to us when a review actually disappears.
 
I'm checking now- thanks for the heads up! Sounds like your app is pretty awesome! Also, I remember a few years back Google did this to any reviews left using Birdeye. The review platform was pre-populating 5 stars so Google removed any that came in through Birdeye.

Birdeye lost reviews twice.
 
I would be curious:
What category(ies) are the businesses?
Are reviewers remote to the busines?
Are you using the Google URL?
How long has it taken to get to 65?
 
Here are the locations for one person buying fake reviews for all their locations. The counts should be higher. I will check again tomorrow.

GBP buying fake reviews.jpg
 
I would be curious:
What category(ies) are the businesses?
Home health care service, Disability services and support organization, Home help, Home help service agency, Hospice, Mental health service, Nursing agency, Senior citizen center, Aged care

Are reviewers remote to the busines?
Yes

Are you using the Google URL?
Our app uses the Google Business Profile API, but I didn't write it, our developer wrote it. It works only with Google Business Profiles to which we have access.

How long has it taken to get to 65?
nine years or so
 
In three businesses (that were reported) that are buying fake reviews I saw a similar drop between 5/9 and 5/14
1684255753390.png
 
If you create a Google docs spreadsheet and include
business name
Maps URL
reviewer name
review content
and create and share a Google forum URL with me detailing the complaint I would be glad to escalate and see what happens
 
If you create a Google docs spreadsheet and include
business name
Maps URL
reviewer name
review content
and create and share a Google forum URL with me detailing the complaint I would be glad to escalate and see what happens

Google forum URL = a post in the Google support forum?
 
I looked closely at the firm engaging in fake reviews and three locations. Google removed the profile accounts leaving reviews and converted the profiles to "A Google User," and the count will get updated tomorrow.

3rd google user.jpg


a second a google user.jpg


thanks for the 5 stars.jpg
 

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