Jan 22, 2015
Reaction score
We recently took on a local client who did not have a current 'My Business' account with Google. Therefore, I made one for him from scratch.

I asked him if he could filter through his emails and see if any of his past customers used a Gmail account. I then asked if he could get in touch with them to see if they would give a honest review about his service on the new My Business page.

When I checked back, a week later, 5 legitimate reviews had been posted from past customers.

I was pleasantly surprised that he managed to get that many in a short period of time. However, I am a bit worried that if we get another 5-6 in the next week or so, this may flag some kind of spam filter with Google, even though these reviews are from legitimate customers.

Let me know your thoughts :confused:


Apr 16, 2014
Reaction score
We do warn our clients to make sure they don't get too many reviews all at once. This hasn't ever been a problem though, as getting reviews is difficult and there's rarely a huge wave of them that come in!

Recently a gym with multiple locations has been really encouraging reviews from customers (good and bad). They're getting 2-3 a day at 5+ locations on weekends! We have seen a net decline in MAP ranking, but since they started this just after Christmas its very difficult to say whether this is pigeon or review related-- We're guessing pigeon as the listings that have replaced them reak like pigeon poop :mad: .

I'd keep an eye out to make sure the reviews are actually showing up (If you know the names of some reviewers, they will see the review from their account but not on the business page if they're signed out). If they stop showing up, then they might have been flagged-- but there's better ways for Google to know which reviews are real/fake then "quantity" (like IP address, age of the account, relationships within circles, device it's being reviewed from, any account that mentions they work as an SEO, or accounts that only have done 1 review ever).

Here's a good "review guide" with some good ideas: The Complete Guide to Google+Local Reviews - and Especially How to Get Them |

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
Reaction score
Excellent answer Kate!

At that volume I would not worry too much Jonathan.

Google really likes reviews that trickle in naturally though. So now that they did their big push to all Gmail accounts and have enough reviews to get their stars, I would help them set up a system to do a follow up email right after time of service, asking for a review and offering a choice of 3 different review sites. Both for the ease for the customer and also because 3rd party reviews count too. I'm sure Phil's post goes into more detail.
Jan 22, 2015
Reaction score
Hi Kate & Linda,

Thanks for the quick replies,

You have put my mind a ease :)

Just going to read through Phil's post now!
Sep 18, 2012
Reaction score
Late to the party but we work to get the reviews on different platforms rather than just GMB as part of a long-term strategy.

I haven't seen too much of a problem with any platform except when the user is really, really new with few social signals--and then there is always the odd ball.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
D Is adding emojis to business name gets penalty from GMB? Local Search 1
S Duplicate content penalty for using the same GMB posts? Google My Business & Google Maps 19
JoyHawkins New Structured Data Penalty for Reviews? Local Reviews 13
djbaxter Link Penalty Manual Action Can Remove Rich Snippets Organic SEO 2
Linda Buquet GMB Keyword Stuffing Penalties: Case Study by Sterling Sky Local Search 14
F Google Local Search Ranking Issue- Penalty? Google My Business & Google Maps 4
djbaxter Google penalty checker tools don't work Local SEO Tools & Software 0
timcapper Manual Penalties and Google Business Support on Suspended Listings Google My Business & Google Maps 5
H Perceived Penalty / Filter - Google Local Purgatory Recycle Bin 11
Y Manual Penalty for Organic, but why is GA flatlining for all other traffic? Organic SEO 11
Tim Colling Have specific examples of penalties for using Regus centers as "additional offices"? Local Search 15
H Am I crazy? Google analytics problem (or penalty)? Local Search 2
JoyHawkins Google sent out over 4.3 Million Manual Penalties in 2015 Organic SEO 3
H Organic Penalty Advice - your thoughts Local Search 3
James Watt Wave of manual penalties for outbound linking. Organic SEO 7
Blake Denman Client has a Panda penalty Local Search 7
Linda Buquet 73 SEO Experts Share Penguin Penalty Removal Tips Organic SEO 3
J Help ! I have a Panda Penalty Local Search 29
Scott ClientClicks GMB penalty due to business name? No Description! Google My Business & Google Maps 12
JoyHawkins Can You Rank in the 3-Pack with a Manual or Penguin Penalty? Google My Business & Google Maps 10
Eric Rohrback A Great Story about a Manual Penalty - How would you fix it? Marketing 6
JoyHawkins Is there Such Thing as a Description Penalty? Google My Business & Google Maps 10
Tony Wang Local Pack Penalty? Help & Support for Google Local 7
Linda Buquet Do you have a Google Penalty? How to Tell & What to Do Organic SEO 4
Linda Buquet How to Evaluate New Client Sites for Google Penalties By @CaseyMeraz Organic SEO 1
Dustybones Learning From The Manual Action Penalty Placed On Thumbtack Organic SEO 5
gulliver Schema Markup and Penalty Question? Google My Business & Google Maps 1
Linda Buquet Ranking #1 in the Local 7 Pack - Even Though Panda or Penguin Penalty? Local Search 17
J Normal drop-off or GMB penalty? Help & Support for Google Local 2
Linda Buquet Cool Tool to Diagnose What Google Penalty you were Hit By Organic SEO 1
Linda Buquet Google Pigeon Forgives Penguin Penalties??? Google My Business & Google Maps 16
D GMB Penalty? Help & Support for Google Local 4
Amber Robinson New Google Maps URL Structure - Local Penalty Hack? Google My Business & Google Maps 1
frederickwebpro Over optimization penalty, myth or proven? Local Search 2
whitespark New Way to Identify Penalties/Problems? Google My Business & Google Maps 10
Linda Buquet Manual Google Penalties - How Long Do they Last? Expiration Times? Organic SEO 2
B Self Review Penalty? Three self reviews flagged, now all sites down 35% in 30 days. Local Reviews 6
TonyIsSocial Local SEO Penalties? Local Search 5
K Tough getting this restaurant on the map. Penalty? Help & Support for Google Local 4
Chris McCreery Signage Penalty Local Search 9
Linda Buquet Definitive Guide to Recovering ORGANIC Google Penalty Organic SEO 0
Broland Hack to Check for Google Local Penalties Google My Business & Google Maps 39
RobinOctane Recovering from a Google Dupe Penalty Local Search 2
Chris_Gregory Looking for local examples of SMB's with a Penguin Penalty Organic SEO 1
B How do I know if a listing was hit with a penalty? Google My Business & Google Maps 3
JoyHawkins Manual Penalties Google My Business & Google Maps 5
Linda Buquet How to Diagnose Organic Penalties and Traffic Drops Organic SEO 1
D Have your local clients been hit by manual penalties from google w/ WMT messages Organic SEO 0
djbaxter So are GWT Backlink reports enough to lift Penalty or get out of Penguin? via @Marie_ Organic SEO 0
Linda Buquet Interesting Google+ Local Penalty? Dropped out of Pack, but Still High in Maps? Google My Business & Google Maps 4

Similar threads

Login / Register

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

Most UpVoted Answers

Trending: Most Viewed

LocalU Podcasts

  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...
Google Product Exert

Top Bottom