Importance of Google Reviews Showing Up on GMB
If you are a local business owner, the importance of Google reviews showing up on GMB cannot be overstated. Not only does having a presence on GMB lend credibility to your business, but it can also increase your visibility to potential customers and drive targeted traffic to your website.
In this article, we will review the importance of Google reviews displaying on your GMB and the reasons why they may not be appearing during Google searches.
It should also be noted that Google My Business is phasing towards the terminology of Google Business profile. You will find both terms used interchangeably throughout this article.
Google My Business Listing Issues
For example, if you contact a plumber to have them fix some issues in your house, you would expect a prompt response. It is a similar expectation that customers have regarding Google reviews. They want to see what others say about your business.
However, Google My Business reviews can sometimes be a little mysterious. Why do some reviews show up and others don’t? What if someone leaves a review but you can’t see it?
Below are some explanations for navigating the nuances of Google My Business reviews.
1. Review marked as spam.
If a review is marked as spam, it will not appear on your listing.
The cause of this could be due to the fact that Google’s algorithm may mark certain words as spam. Also, if there is too much keyword stuffing in the content of the review, Google might flag it.
The review may also disappear if users mark it as inappropriate.
2. Review had a link with a URL.
Another common reason why online reviews may not be appearing is if the review contains a URL. Google may flag this as spam or a promotional content meant to detract loyal customers.
The Google’s support team has a eye for detail on such areas and will automatically remove reviews, no matter the high star rating, if this occurs.
3. The review is not authentic.
It is important to ensure that all Google reviews are authentic. This is because some businesses exploit the review process by offering incentives to customers in return for positive reviews. This is a breach of Google’s terms and conditions, and the business may lose access to their Google account if they post fake reviews.
This can be done in many different ways, but it is a very common occurrence in industries where there is a lot of competition. For example, an electrician might offer a discount or some other incentive to customers who leave them positive reviews. The problem with doing this is that the reviews are not honest, and this could result in problems for the business in the long run.
In order to prevent this from happening, Google has introduced new algorithms into its search engine which will filter out reviews that it determines to be fake or not genuine.
4. The review is from a third-party site.
In the past, Google would import reviews from other platforms like Yelp and Facebook. If you are looking to display reviews from another website, this is no longer a possibility as Google has stopped importing them.
However, you can sometimes find customer feedback from other sites in the section of the Google panel called “Reviews around the Web.” However, these are determined by the algorithm and it is unclear the impact it has on local SEO as well.
5. The review is private or has been deleted.
If a customer’s Google review is private, it won’t show up in the business listing at all. If it is public but has been deleted, the content of the review will be removed from the business listing itself. Deleted and private reviews do not have an effect on the star rating for the business, nor do they affect a listing’s position in local rankings.
When a review is left as “private,” this means that only the person who left it can see it unless they share their profile with someone else. Reviewers often choose to make them private if they believe that a negative review could come across as too harsh, or if they want to go into more detail than allowed in a public review.
If a customer has chosen to delete their Google review, then there is no way to recover it or any of its content. Even if a reviewer chooses to change their mind and re-publish their deleted opinion, there is no way for business owners to restore their original thoughts and edit out the replacement text so that both versions are visible. No matter what, there will only be one visible version of that review.
6. Google disabled reviews temporarily.
This can happen in several situations, including if Google suspects there is spam involved with the reviews. It can also happen due to violations of Google’s terms of service.
Most recently, Google disabled reviews during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic since the company itself had a smaller team working on review management. Reviews posted beforehand still showed up, however.
If this happens for your business, no need to worry! You can always give your business proper attribution by adding a local page to your website or business listing. This will let customers know exactly how to find you and what services you offer.
7. Listing information was inaccurate or outdated.
It’s important for local business owners to keep their information up-to-date on their Google My Business platform, and if the information is incorrect or out of date, it can cause issues with how your customers see you. Your listing may not show up on Google Maps or other search results and may not be updated in real-time.
This can happen if your business name has changed since you created your listing and you haven’t updated it yet. Either way, it’s integral you review your listing information periodically and make sure it is correct correct so that customers will be able to find you when they conduct local searches.
8. New location of the same business.
If you have a new business location, a Google review may not be showing up on the map. The old reviews will still show up under your name on the business listing, but new reviews won’t display until you verify your location.
This can make it look like previous reviewers are talking about a different company than yours, so it’s important to let previous customers know that they’ll need to leave another review once they find you in the new area. Don’t worry, previous reviews will still count toward your overall rating!
9. The listing is inactive.
Like most things on the Internet, business information is subject to change. Operating hours could vary or you may have new updates about the services you offer for customers. Forgetting to update your GMB listing with these details could lead to inactivity and have a negative impact on your reputation management.
A Google listing can also be inactive for many reasons: if there was an error associated with the original submission (such as a typo in the address), if it was reported for violating Google review policy, or if the business itself deleted it—or shut down altogether.
10. Duplicate listing.
One common reason for missing reviews is if you have a duplicate listing for your business.
When two or more businesses have the same name in the same city, Google will often create a new listing just for those duplicates. This happens because they assume that they’re dealing with different businesses.
If your business has duplicate listings, you can delete them directly from your GMB dashboard or report them on Google Maps to the support team so they can be removed. You can prevent this from happening altogether by verifying your Google business.
11. Brand new listing.
If you are a brand new business that has only recently created a Google My Business account, missing Google reviews is completely natural.
A customer may be excited to leave a review for you on your Google My Business listing, but it will deter them if they cannot find your listing.
In such cases, you should know that their positive feedback may end up being invisible until the number of ratings and reviews for your page are high enough. Ensure that the listing has had time to gather some reviews and ratings so it will appear in search results.
Normally, this will happen after a few weeks. If you’re in a rush to appear in search results, consider asking customers who are happy with what you’ve done to write a review on their own listings so it shows up more quickly.
12. Google outages.
Although this is incredibly rare, it’s possible that Google itself had an outage or server errors at the time of a review being submitted. This could lead to a delay in reviews going live and the review may not show up right away.
In this case, the best thing you can do is wait before a star review becomes visible. The Google Support team sometimes examine the review from their end during these instances.
Manage your Google Business reviews with Signpost
Looking to manage reviews on your Google Business page, but sick of combing through them one by one? Signpost is here to help.
With Signpost, you can take control of your online reputation, separate the real reviews from the fake ones, and respond to reviews in a timely manner—all from your business’s dashboard.
If you need review management software for your business without the headache, Signpost is a cost-effective solution. Request a demo today.