Fixing Missing Google Reviews

 2/27/2023 12:00:00 AM
Views: 1,104
11 Minutes, 24 Second
 Written By John Marx
Tags:Google Business Profiles, Review Management

Fixing Missing Google Reviews

@SOCIALSHARE|{{BUSINESSURL}}/Blog/Details/Fixing-Missing-Google-Reviews@

If you're like us, you've known you've received a Google review, and it has yet to show up. One client has had this issue and just signed one with missing reviews. How many more are there? With the techniques and information below, you will be able to fix your missing reviews.

Why Google Reviews Matter To Your Business

Referrals are the best way to grow your business. People can see and understand those that are vindictive reviews. Your current and future customers are smart. They can also understand genuine reviews from the heart about your business.

Businesses that are actively growing online spend time building their online reputation through reputation management.

The Missing Reviews

 

When reviews come up missing, it is often thought that someone hates you, is doing bad things to destroy your business, and has other horrible thoughts. This is further from the truth. Key factors are often minor issues with your Google Business Profile (GBP). GBP was formerly known as Google My Business (GMB), and many of you have yet to learn of the new name, as the old name was truly memorable.

 

Google has stated that if a business review doesn't appear or no longer appears, it is due to "policy violations." These are items such as spam or inappropriate content. And while you can't control many of the actions of others, there are some situations where you can attempt to resolve the issue. The final action a business can do is talk directly with Google, which we also cover how you can do below.

Why Is My Review Not Showing Up On Google?

Below is the most common reasons that reviews are not showing on your GBP page and solutions to each one of the items that you can do to adjust to meet the changing needs that Google continues to make.

Note 1: Remember, Google goes through thousands of changes per year. These are not just one-time fixes. You must stay aware and work on your information every month, if not more often.

Note 2: You will notice some of the items below that many appear while others don't. This is due to the changing of the algorithm Google uses. Some updates go retro and update existing, while some updates are only forward from this point in time.

The Ultimate Problem Of Missing Reviews

You will ultimately not even know you're missing a review unless you are communicating with your customers. When they leave a review, you may not receive a notification of a new review being left. The only way you will know is if you are told by your customer.

Users Have Embedded Links in their Google Reviews

  • Problem: If your customer has gone way above and beyond, they leave not just an excellent review but a link to either their website, your website, or another location on the internet.
  • Fix: The fix is simple. Ask your customer to remove any links they may embed in the review.

Google Considers The Review As Fake

  • Problem: If the Google profile leaving the review is missing a profile image, hasn't been validated recently, has left reviews inconsistently, or sees the source come from a spam link.
  • Fix: This one is ultimately tough, and here are some fixes for what we have above.
    • Ask the customer to update their picture and have it be a picture of them rather than a drink, house, nature, etc.
    • Have the customer log into their Google Gmail account and make certain there are no security issues with their account.
    • Have them leave more reviews for other businesses they go to. The easiest way is for restaurants they frequent.
    • Change your reputation management software! This you can do by using a reputable review link. Often, Google will find certain reputation management links as spam. You should use a real Google Review link and not one that is known as a review gateway (see below).

Google Reviews Is Currently Disabled

  • Problem: Updates are often taken offline during items like pandemics. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Google stopped businesses from displaying any reviews received.
  • Fix: This is a waiting-to-be-patient period. It sucks, we know, but Google has said these reviews will eventually appear. The problem is there is no timeline for these.

Google Reviews Is Currently Broken

  • Problem: As with all companies, Google does updates, and the software may accept the review and never display it.
  • Fix: This is where you wait for Google to fix their software and initially hope that when the software is updated, the customer review begins.

Your Business In New

  • Problem: Google has always put new domains and businesses into what they call a sandbox.
  • Fix: Give your business 60-90 days before requesting reviews, work on getting your business verified, and get your website in the top 10 of the search results.

Your Business Is Not Verified

  • Problem: Google Business Profiles can and need to be verified before any profile information shows.
  • Fix: You can request a post card, phone call (fastest), or email verification. Not all of these options are available to businesses. The post card is always a valid option and takes just a week to verify.

Profile Is Current Inactive

  • Problem: You have a verified Google Business Profile and last posted to it a while ago.
  • Fix: You should be updating your business profile and keeping it current. These updates can be as simple as replying to inbox requests, posting your products/services, changes in your business, and updates.

Not Responding To Inbox Requests

  • Problem: With every Google Business Profile, your potential customer has the ability to send you an online message.
  • Fix: When you receive a message, make certain to reply to it. Even if it's as simple as, "We're calling the number you asked us to."

Reviewer Account Has Issues

  • Problem: Having a Gmail account is great, but not keeping it current can make reviews not show.
  • Fix:
    • Accounts can be deactivated, and the review that once showed no longer shows.
    • Requested security reviews are past due. Google will send Gmail users verifications for a security review. If they ignore this Google will think the account is a fake account even if it's fully usable.

Duplicate Google Business Profiles

  • Problem: Businesses want to be found everywhere. It's our nature to want to grow our businesses. A common tactic for many is to create multiple business locations even though you don't have multiple locations. Post Office Boxes, co-working spaces, UPS stores, and other methods. See below also on "Bad Addresses" and how they can hurt your business.
  • Fix: Delete the extra Google Business Profile accounts. This will help going forward, but the existing submissions may never come back without some Google intervention.

Too Many, Or Too Few, Reviews

  • Problem: The customer may have left too many reviews in a short period. Google encourages reviews, but if a person routinely only does a review every blue moon or never has, they can be flagged.
  • Fix: The customer needs to pick up the consistency, and then Google will eventually see the pattern and the reviews that haven't shown start to show. This can definitely take some time on the customer's and Google's part.

Verified And A Bad Address

  • Problem: Businesses that are completely online work from home, or service-based businesses with no storefront will often use someone else's address.
  • Fix: Use only your home address or an actual storefront. If you have a home-based service business with no storefront, you can hide your address and put it in your service area. Yes, this will lower your chances of a page-one result, but it will often fix the review issue.

Malware / Malicious Software / Security Issues

  • Problem: The device leaving the review has security issues.
  • Fix: We've recently seen a mobile device that left a review, and it wasn't showing. Working with this customer, we put on a malware scanning system tat showed the device was infected with malware. When the customer left a review, it injected hidden text into the review preventing it from showing (see above about links).

Reviews Just Disappear

  • Problem: You see a review and then it just disappears with no notice from Google for it vanishing.
  • Fix:
    • Check with the customer that they didn't delete their review.
    • Google may be having technical issues and you will need to talk with them.

Wrong Business Category

  • Problem: Within your Google business Profile you need to specify the correct business category.
  • Fix: Change your business category to match your business. If an exact match doesn't exist find one that is as close as possible to your business/industry.

Google Wants To Talk To You

  • Problem: Your review may have been flagged for moderation.
  • Fix: Moderation can take a few days or longer. Once the review is approved, it will be visible to everyone. Sometimes this moderation requires intervention and a call on your part.

Dumb & Evil Competitors

We would be doing a complete disservice if we didn't talk about your "evil competitor." We're not saying competitors are evil, but there are many that are less than honest and look for ways to game the system for their benefit and hurt your business.

The biggest item your competitors will do is a negative review campaign or flag your reviews as not helpful or false.

Even though the first thought is, I am going to do the same to them. Don't! You are better than that. You are focused on the future and shouldn't be looking back. You are the leader, so they are concerned about you. Continue to follow the steps above/below in this document and lead the way.

I've Done Everything, And Still, Nothing

We feel your pain. You've read each item above and still need to see the reviews you know you've gotten. Below are the last-chance efforts you can make:

  • Collect Evidence for Google to Review
    • Google is more likely to help resolve problems when they have technical or physical data to review. Get screenshots showing the need for reviews not on your Google Business Profile from your customers.
    • If you received an email from Google about a new review, replied to it as you should, and still need help finding the review, you can use that to submit.
    • You can also collect some emails submitted by previous customers who have taken the time to post a review for your company.
  • Seek Help from Your Reputation Management Provider
    • Your reputation management software company is a source you need to go to. They can often see things in their review software, know of bugs in their review software, etc. Many businesses may have an SEO (search engine optimization) company also helping with their reputation management. If the company is also a software company, they can definitely help.
    • If you use specific software to send your reviews, this is the company you want to talk with before your SEO company as they don't have access to the software. If you do contact your SEO company, provide them screenshots of what is sent, copies of emails, etc., so they can help you.

I've Done Everything, And Still, Nothing

Now is the time to call in the big guns, Google itself. This can be quick or slow. Just depends on your luck and how many others are having problems. This should be your last resort and not your first one, as contacting Google too much can also make it so that more of your reviews have to go through moderation. Additionally, they will have you check and do everything we've outlined above.

  • Phone Call
    • Google has a customer service number you can call, though it's largely automated. The public automated customer support number is 650-253-0000. In most instances, you will go through a myriad of menus.
    • There is also an international option for those based in India. Calling 1-800-419-0157 will work for you.
  • Online Support
    • You will first need to be logged into your Google account.
    • Then go to https://support.google.com/
    • Search for what your problem is (e.g., Google Business Profile, Reviews Not Showing, etc.)
  • Online Community Help Forums
    • You will first need to be logged into your Google account.
    • Then go to https://support.google.com/
    • Search for what your problem is
    • On the page, you will notice a button/link called "Community" that will allow you to ask your question in the support community. They will often direct you to the "Online Support" option above.

Conclusion

Reviews not showing are often a result of your profile having technical issues or user violations. It would be best if you didn't take your reviews not showing as a personal attack on your business.