In an online marketplace where competition is fierce, customer reviews serve as the compass guiding shoppers toward the best decisions.
Customer feedback shapes your brand image and influences purchase decisions. In fact, 99.9% of consumers consult customer reviews when they shop online (PowerReviews). Moreover, most shoppers who read online reviews don’t just stop at one. Statistics show that 54.7% read at least four product reviews before buying a product (Bizrate Insights).
Among all the online review platforms available, Google stands out as the most popular choice. A staggering 59% of shoppers use Google to look for customer reviews. As such, having a well-optimized Google My Business (GMB) profile can help you create a lasting and positive impression.
Google reviews can generate trust and provide a glimpse of the quality of your products and services. They shape how your brand is perceived even before potential leads explore your website.
However, if you’ve been actively using your GMB profile, you may have encountered instances where one or more reviews were delayed or disabled.
In this comprehensive guide, we tackle the causes of delayed or lost reviews on your GMB profile and what you can do to recover them.
In this article:
- Why You Need Google Business Reviews
- Understanding Google’s Review Policy
- Why Do Reviews Disappear
- What Is Considered Restricted Content?
- What To Do if Google Business Reviews Are Delayed or Removed
- How To Generate More Customer Reviews
Why You Need Google Business Reviews
Online reviews in any form can be valuable to your business. But here are reasons why generating reviews on Google is especially beneficial to your online presence and ability to convert:
1. Gain Valuable Customer Insights
Reviews on your Google Business Profile give you invaluable insights into your customer’s experience with your brand. You can then use these insights to enhance your products and services and tailor your content to better meet your audience’s needs and expectations.
2. Provide Social Proof
Reviews on your Google Business listing are an important aspect of online reputation management and repair. They showcase genuine customer experiences and demonstrate openness and transparency.
Positive reviews serve as powerful endorsements, bolstering your brand’s credibility. They prove to potential leads that your offerings are reliable and worth their time. Additionally, by valuing and addressing customer feedback, you reinforce your commitment to customer satisfaction.
3. Increase Conversions and Return on Investment (ROI)
People are more inclined to buy from brands they trust. When they see positive reviews on your Google Business listing, they’ll feel more comfortable visiting your website and completing a purchase. Plus, you get to increase your revenue without spending extra on advertising.
Customer trust plays a pivotal role in influencing purchasing decisions. Positive reviews displayed on your Google Business listing offer consumers reassurance and peace of mind.
Understanding Google’s Review Policy
Google automatically processes feedback to ensure its integrity and detect fake Google reviews and inappropriate content. They require that reviews be respectful, honest and relevant. Spam reviews, fake feedback and obscenity and profanity will be removed. Additionally, companies are prohibited from using duplicate listings or offering incentives in exchange for reviews.
Here are Google’s policies regarding prohibited and restricted reviews. Note that these regulations also apply to all content formats, including Videos, Photos and Reviews.
Google is firmly against reviews that would make an individual fear for their safety and well-being. It may take down reviews that contain:
- Hate speech
- Offensive content
- Personal information
Google does not allow reviews on your Google business listing designed to mislead others. Deceptive content includes:
- Fake engagement
- Spam reviews
Google is strict about only posting content based on authentic experiences or questions about experiences at a specific location. Reviews that are off-topic and gibberish will be rejected.
Reviews on your Google Business Profile containing the following types of inappropriate content will be removed:
- Obscenity and profanity
- Sexually explicit content
- Adult-themed content
- Violence and gore
- Regulated, dangerous and illegal content
- Terrorist content
By following Google’s content policies, you can ensure your Google Business listing won’t face any penalties, delayed or missing reviews and other negative consequences.
Why Do Reviews Disappear?
Missing reviews are often taken down for policy violations like fake Google reviews or restricted content.
What Is Considered Restricted Content?
Google reserves the right to remove testimonials on your Google Business Profile that contain restricted content like:
- Personal phone numbers or email addresses
- Links to landing pages that invite users to purchase restricted goods and services
- Discounts, offers and calls to action (CTAs) for prohibited goods and services, including guns, tobacco, gambling, health and medical devices, pharmaceuticals and adult services.
Illegal, Offensive and Mature Content
Google may also take down testimonials featuring:
- Images or content that promote violence and harassment
- Images or content of illegal products or services like drugs and endangered animal products
- Sexually explicit material
- Obscene gestures or offensive language
Keep in mind that Google does not reinstate disabled reviews that were taken down due to policy violations.
Reasons for Delayed Reviews
There are several reasons that Google reviews can be delayed.
Verifying authenticity: A review may take time to appear because Google is still verifying its authenticity. The verification process involves checking whether the reviewer has a Google account, used a real name and has reviewed other businesses before.
Verifying value: A review may also be delayed because Google is still verifying whether the review provides valuable information to readers. Google may double-check for spelling and grammar errors and whether the review adheres to its content guidelines.
Delays are also common after profiles are merged, but this should be resolved within a few days.
What To Do if Google Business Reviews Are Delayed or Removed
Here’s what you can do in case of delayed or lost reviews:
1. Diversify Your Google Business Reviews
While Google reviews are essential, consider asking customers to leave feedback on other platforms like Yelp, Facebook or TripAdvisor. This proactive approach to online reputation management lets you maintain a strong and positive online presence.
2. Monitor Your Google Business Listing
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, so paying attention to your GMB profile is essential. Staying on top of Google’s latest updates and content regulations lets you reduce delays or the likelihood of having reviews rejected.
3. Reach Out to Google Support
If you believe you have valid reasons to dispute a review that has been flagged down, you can always get in touch with Google Support. Explain the situation clearly and, if available, provide any supporting evidence to strengthen your case. Google’s support team may reevaluate your case.
How To Generate More Customer Reviews
The more reviews you have, the more credible and trustworthy you’ll appear to potential customers. Leads are more likely to trust your brand and be less concerned about removals or isolated negative reviews.
Here are ways to gather more customer feedback:
- Send Follow-Up Emails: Send personalized follow-up emails with review links to customers after their purchase or interaction while their experience is still fresh. The earlier you request a review, the more inclined happy customers will be to share their positive experiences with others.
- Use Social Media: Use your social media platforms to engage with customers and ask them for reviews. You can also monitor brand mentions and reach out to users who are already talking about your brand.
- Add Review Links on Your Website: Having review links visible on your site makes it easier and quicker for customers to leave feedback. Remove unnecessary steps that take up much of their time and deter them from leaving reviews.
Elevate Your Approach to Listings Management With Rize
By understanding the reasons behind delayed or lost reviews, you can navigate these challenges more effectively and maintain a positive brand image. Overall, a proactive approach to review management combined with a commitment to client experience and satisfaction can help you achieve lasting success.
Partner with Rize Reviews and stop worrying about disabled reviews and duplicate listings hurting your brand. Our industry-leading online review analyzer makes it easier to diagnose and report spam reviews and fake Google reviews.
Book a consultation with us and let us optimize your review management strategy.