Within the past year, our agency has received three Google Reviews that never showed up on our profile page – a maddening occurrence being that:
We’ve also been getting several reports from DZ’s experiencing the same issue, so we decided to figure out why this is happening. The efforts of our research were surprising and will continue to affect many dropzones based on how they’re curating reviews (dropzones who capture reviews onsite: I’m talking to you).
Why is Google Removing Reviews?
Google removes reviews for one of two reasons:
One of the marketing gurus we follow is Mike Blumenthal. Mike specializes in SEO and all things reviews and recently wrote an article for Near Media that highlights the increase in complaints about missing reviews within the Google forum related to the Google Business Profile. As you can see, the complaints steadily increased throughout 2021.
This trend shouldn’t be too surprising being that Google has the highest volume of false reviews amongst the big four review sites (Yelp, Tripadvisor and Facebook), so Google is trying to curtail fake reviews, but in doing so is also negating many legit reviews.
As highlighted by SEO agency Sterling Sky, the primary causation as to why Google is filtering reviews falls into one of three categories.
1. Free Wifi – If Google recognizes that reviews are being left for a business using the same IP address in which the Google Profile is being managed, it’s likely these reviews are being filtered. The person leaving the review can see the review within their individual profiles, but that’s the only place it’s seen!
This is problematic if you’re a DZ promoting people to scan a QR code at your location particularly if they are using your wifi.
I strongly recommend DZs use review management software (many Dropzone Marketing clients use review management software for this reason).
2. User Location – People leaving reviews who aren’t located anywhere near your business or who haven’t traveled near your location.
This is a positive as we saw this technique being used by our “friends” who set up fake DZ Google Business Profiles around the country and then hired people to leave reviews on these pages.
3. Miscategorized Business – Businesses who use an education or school category will not receive reviews as these education-focused categories stopped being able to receive reviews in 2019. If you’re a skydiving “school” and have your business listed in an educational category, be sure that you’re actually getting reviews!
If a review is scrubbed and doesn’t fall into one of the three categories above then it’s likely Google doesn’t have enough information on the user.
What Can You Do If You’ve Lost Reviews?
Google has forums with administrators who can elevate your case if they think you’ve got a legitimate issue. We’ve used this forum in the past and have had success. You can post a thread to the Google Business Profile forum here.
When creating a thread, be sure to leave as much information as possible like: