More threads by Will Salmon

Jan 20, 2017
Reaction score

We run a small hearing care business and encourage our customers to leave reviews. We currently have 23 reviews built up steadily over three years. Over the last couple of weeks I have noticed a couple of our reviews have disappeared. One was only left on the 27th May 2017 (very recently) the other one was left in July 2016.

We only have a relatively small group of customers and work hard to gather reviews. It's quite frustrating when reviews disappear for seemingly no reason. Is there a way for businesses to find out why the reviews get removed or is this something only the customer can check?

Many of our customers don't have accounts with Google so have to sign up before leaving a review. Is this something that Google frown's upon?

It would be good to know why these reviews get removed so that we can learn and advise our customers when providing instructions.

Thanks for any advice provided. This is a really useful forum for learning. If anyone wants any further information I'm happy to share via PM as well as the text from the removed reviews.

Hi Will,

The review probably just got caught in a filter. Joy put together a good list of reasons Reviews can get filtered:

  • URLs in reviews
  • The person who wrote the review is a manager of your Google My Business Listing
  • The person who wrote the review works for you
  • The person wrote the review from the same computer/IP Address that you sign into to manage your local listing
  • The person wrote the review from the same IP address as other users who left you reviews
  • The person tried to post a review for you several times on different dates (Ex: they wrote one August 5 and it got filtered so they tried again on October 10)
  • The person reviewing you has also reviewed multiple other businesses with the same name (if you have several locations and they reviewed all of them)
  • You hired an SEO company to post reviews for you
  • You have an onsite review station (Ipad, Computer etc) at your location
  • You are offering incentives for people who write you reviews.

Depending on when you noticed a few reviews disappear, it seems like a few weeks ago there was a jump in posts on the Google forum from people that lost some reviews. Might be that a new review filter made the rounds. Honestly, I've never had a client with more than 5 reviews that hasn't lost at least one or two somewhere along the line. it happens. I know it's frustrating, but just keep asking, keep building, and you'll be fine.
Thanks James for your advice. It is strange how sometimes they seem to disappear for reasons not related to the above especially for long standing reviews.
It is indeed. I'm very hopeful that the review spam filtering algorithms are going to be pretty amazing 5 years from now, but for now it seems safe to assume that maybe 5% of valid reviews won't stick long term. If you're really mindful of using all the reviews that come in from customers in some way or another, it wouldn't be a bad idea to save reviews as they come in just in case one disappears.
Hi Joy

Thanks for the helpful link.

It's a shame the reviews have disappeared and I don't think it's for any of the obvious reasons. Luckily I do make sure I keep a copy of them for our own records when they are written.

We might check with the customer who wrote the most recent one when we next visit.

Thanks for all your help.
The most recent review which disappeared is now showing again which is great news. It's just strange why this happens.
Glad to hear it showing up again. It seems anything could disappear then reappear in google. SERP, and now business reviews.
Everyone here mentions the things that the Google is looking at when determining if a review is spam, there are several factors that they look at. If a review is removed, it didn't pass their spam review algorithm. Like you mentioned, some times a review will be flagged and then later returned assuming Google found it to not be a spam comment.

If you can pin point a specific review that has been removed and it never comes back, you can call Google directly (1-866-246-6453) and inform them of what happened and which review(s) were removed.

They will provide advice on why or provide some information on their algorithm. This may lead to you getting the review published again and may not lead to anything but at least you have a better understanding of your specific situation when it comes to your reviews.

Hope that helps!
Bad news google will filter some reviews. Sometimes immediately, sometimes much later. Good news, google doesn't stop you form getting more.

The one thing that stood out for me was that your customers had to sign up for a google account. This could be suspicious to google. Think about this, a person signs up, leaves a review and disapears. This wouldn't seem natural to google at all. It may be easier to find people that already use google in some way. Most android phones have a google account and if you collect emails, you can isolate google account owners that way.

I know reviews are important and tough, consistently focusing on getting reviews will overcome negative and filtered reviews.
I fell for you. I've had genuine reviews removed and it is heartbreaking when you put so much into getting that review. I started my business after being made unemployed so reviews were and still are my bread and butter.

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

LocalU Event

LocalU - Sold Out

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Top Bottom