More threads by Kurt Steinbrueck

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Hey Everyone,

I'm having trouble with reviews going missing or never appearing for some clients. Does anyone have a contact at Google (GMB) I could reach out to? I've tried the normal support routes and am not getting anywhere.

Also, if these reviews are getting filtered, does anyone have a system that makes sure reviews don't get filtered? I know the normal stuff, the review shouldn't be abusive or posted from the business IP, etc. Are there certain things to avoid saying or some other tips we can give people who want to post a review?

To give you an idea of the history, I had one client contact me last month saying he had received 2 reviews which were missing. He had received a notification for one, but not the other. The pictures the reviewers posted were still on his GMB listing, but no review. All my efforts with Google just led to canned response over and over that they automatically filter some reviews for spam/abuse violations, which didn't fit either review.

Then last week I heard from another client who got a new review. They got an email from the reviewer letting them know they had posted it, but no notification and nothing was on their listing. I contacted the person who posted the review to doublecheck they had posted it. They said couldn't find it so assumed they must have messed up. So, they posted it again and double checked to make sure it posted and sent a screenshot, but when I check the listing and the GMB admin for the listing, there's nothing. There was also no notification email sent indicating their had been a review posted.

I encourage clients to try to get legitimate reviews from happy customers, but they get very frustrated when they do and then those reviews are removed or don't ever show up.

I'm at a loss at this point and can't find a contact in Google who will give me more than the canned responses.

I'd love it if someone could put me in touch with someone at Google who could actually help.

Thanks!
Kurt
 

talkoutloud

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They have definitely tightened up their review filter lately. If you want to post over at the GMB forum, I'd be happy to have Google look at the reviews and see if they can be reinstated.
This has been happening to me over and over again. Legit client reviews. Over and over again. I'm missing at least 5 reviews. I've added it in the GMB forum and no one ever replies, or just says to message Google and all they do is give a canned response email.
 

talkoutloud

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studentoflife

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Hi Person I Don't Care About,
Thank you for reaching out to Google My Business Support.

We understand your concern about the missing reviews on your business listing.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused. To protect business owners and customers, we have systems in place that remove reviews that include any of the following: inappropriate content, advertising, spam, off-topic reviews or conflicts of interest. Learn more about Google My Business content policies.
Sometimes, our algorithms report and remove legitimate reviews. We can’t reinstate these reviews. These measures help ensure that reviews on Google properties are relevant, helpful and trustworthy.
Thanks for your patience and understanding.
If you have further questions related to this issue, simply reply to this email and we'll be happy to help! For additional support on a different issue, you can always reach us via our Help Center [g.co/gmbhelp]. You may receive an email survey regarding your interaction with Google My Business Support. We value your feedback.
Good luck with your business initiative!
Regards, Either a computer or a person acting like a computer.

The bold explains it all. They admit that they remove legitimate reviews and stand strong in telling you that they won't reinstate these legitimate reviews that they removed for no reason.

The only option is to get more reviews.
 
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The bold explains it all. They admit that they remove legitimate reviews and stand strong in telling you that they won't reinstate these legitimate reviews that they removed for no reason.

The only option is to get more reviews.
I disagree. First, I don't believe Google ever deletes anything. Their whole business model is about collecting as much data as possible.

Second, the idea that the only option is to get more reviews is meaningless if every review is filtered and deleted.

-Kurt
 
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studentoflife

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I disagree. First, I don't believe Google ever deletes anything. Their whole business model is about collecting as much data as possible.

Second, the idea that the only option is to get more reviews is meaningless if every review is filtered and deleted.

-Kurt
As to your first point, I don’t believe that they delete the reviews either. In one of the Joy’s articles she spoke about the fact that reviews being removed didn’t affect ranking in any way, alluding to the idea that the reviews were still there and helping the ranking.

However, while they might not be deleted, the reviews are filtered and not being seen, which is the topic.

As to your second point, not every review is filtered. Some of them will be filtered, so you just have to keep getting more reviews. This is happening to all of us.

I sincerely hope that Joy is able to help you get some of the filtered reviews back. But if that happens, please remember that it’s only because you had a miracle worker with inside connections do it for you. The other tens of millions of listings with filtered reviews will remain filtered, and they will just have to continue getting more reviews to make up for it.
 
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JoyHawkins

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I'm looking at all those threads now.

Kurt - your first thread doesn't work so you'll need to repost it. The GMB forum software can be very irritating - it flags threads all the time as spam that arent - kind of like their review filter. :cool:
 
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I'm looking at all those threads now.

Kurt - your first thread doesn't work so you'll need to repost it. The GMB forum software can be very irritating - it flags threads all the time as spam that arent - kind of like their review filter. :cool:
Hi Joy,

I just saw your response. I still see my original post which you are saying doesn't work. Strange. Either way, I've created a new post for it. See if you can access this one.

https://support.google.com/business/thread/127594275/reviews-are-missing?hl=en

Also, I saw your response to the other Google post, the issue with the school's reviews. Thanks for looking into that. I have a question, though. I came across some schools that have reviews from just the past few months. How is this possible if Google cut off reviews for schools in 2019?

Here are some examples:
Academy of the Holy Names - Google Maps

Tampa Bay Christian Academy - Google Maps

Any ideas?

Thanks again!!!
Kurt
 

djbaxter

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I ab see that one too. But it probably isn't a good idea to be creating duplicate posts about the same issue.
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey All!

I just heard back from Google on this. There was a technical issue that allowed some schools to get reviews. These have all been removed. Schools in the USA cannot get reviews and it's been this way since 2019.
 
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Sorry if I am a little late to this discussion.

We do think Google hides the review. This is also not there just for the new reviews, but also for the old ones. We have come across this.

We are from the GMB Everywhere chrome extension team, and some months ago we were building a feature where we can show you the review of a business at a particular point in time. If you are new, GMB Everywhere chrome extension has a Review Audit feature where we provide the review at that particular point in time.

We did build this feature by calculating backways from the present rating. It is true that Google Rating is not just the average of rating, but the changes should still match month to month. So that is why we though of building this.

One problem we came across very frequently for many businesses is that in some months the math just did not match. Isolating the different reason that could have caused this, the possible conclusion we came out with is that that Google had hidden reviews in that month only. This was happening way too frequently for many businesses when we tested it. We do extensive testing before deploying, so it was very obvious. Anyway, at the end we felt this data wont be that reliable, and hence updated the feature to show the average review for that particular month.

So, to your question, I think it happens a lot for many businesses. It also happens for older reviews too.

@Kurt Steinbrueck Just curious to know. Even though the review was hidden, I am guessing your Google Rating would still be reflecting the new review rating, right?
 
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Sorry if I am a little late to this discussion.

We do think Google hides the review. This is also not there just for the new reviews, but also for the old ones. We have come across this.

We are from the GMB Everywhere chrome extension team, and some months ago we were building a feature where we can show you the review of a business at a particular point in time. If you are new, GMB Everywhere chrome extension has a Review Audit feature where we provide the review at that particular point in time.

We did build this feature by calculating backways from the present rating. It is true that Google Rating is not just the average of rating, but the changes should still match month to month. So that is why we though of building this.

One problem we came across very frequently for many businesses is that in some months the math just did not match. Isolating the different reason that could have caused this, the possible conclusion we came out with is that that Google had hidden reviews in that month only. This was happening way too frequently for many businesses when we tested it. We do extensive testing before deploying, so it was very obvious. Anyway, at the end we felt this data wont be that reliable, and hence updated the feature to show the average review for that particular month.

So, to your question, I think it happens a lot for many businesses. It also happens for older reviews too.

@Kurt Steinbrueck Just curious to know. Even though the review was hidden, I am guessing your Google Rating would still be reflecting the new review rating, right?

I don't know. The client has over 100 reviews and I didn't go through each to get the ratings and find an average. From what you described, there could have been other hidden reviews I wasn't aware of which would have skewed the math anyway. That said, I wouldn't assume that the rating still counted if the review was removed, but I don't know.
 

studentoflife

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As the business owner, I know the feeling that your clients have when a legitimate review is filtered out. Especially when we worked hard to make the customer happy enough to leave that review, sometimes going above and beyond or not accepting a cash tip.

Only about 30 minutes ago I received a response from Google customer support saying the reviews got filtered and they won’t be reinstated. I had asked them about a few reviews that I know were filtered and I know did not break any Google guidelines.

It seems like there’s nothing that could be done. Are you only thing we could do is try to entice more people to leave us reviews.
 

JoyHawkins

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How is this possible if Google cut off reviews for schools in 2019?
It's possible they changed it so that it only applies to public schools. Can you try removing all categories on your listing except "Private educational institution" to see if that makes it so you can get new reviews?
 

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