14 Reasons Why Your Google Business Profile Reviews Disappeared
Businesses large and small rely on their Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) as a source of qualified leads and consumer knowledge. One of the most used features of Google Business Profiles are reviews, and if you’ve recently seen your Google reviews disappearing … you’re not alone.
First, don’t panic. Disappearing Google reviews have happened before to many types of businesses of many different sizes—and Google explains some of the reasons why in the short video below.
Review Spam: Google’s Never-Ending Fight Against Spam and Inappropriate Content
There are several reasons why your Google review is nowhere to be found. Google’s pushback against review spam is perhaps the most common.
If a review violates Google’s prohibited and restricted content for reviews, it will be removed.
While most Google reviews disappear due to spam, fake content, or off-topic content, below are all the reasons why Google may remove reviews in its fight against spam and inappropriate content.
Spam and Fake Content
Google reviews should reflect a customer’s genuine experience. It should not be posted with malintent to manipulate a company’s review rating. Additionally, Google Business Profile reviews must be 100% unique and not found verbatim on other places around the web (Yelp, Facebook, etc.). Lastly, the same review may not be posted by multiple accounts owned by the same user.
Does the review include content unrelated to the customer’s experience or your business? Does it contain social or political commentary or personal rants about other people, places, or things? Google reviews will disappear if they include off-topic content.
Google reserves the right to remove your Google reviews if they contain restricted content like offers/discounts/call-to-actions to sell alcohol, gambling, tobacco, guns, health and medical devices, pharmaceuticals, financial services, and adult services. This is not an all-encompassing list, and Google reserves the right to use its judgment when deciding whether to remove a review.
Restricted content also includes:
- Links to landing pages to purchase restricted goods and services
- Email addresses or phone numbers to purchase restricted goods and services
- Promotional offers for restricted goods and services
Not all accidental promotional content is deemed a violation of Google Business Profile’s policies—like reviews including menus for restaurants.
If one of your Google reviews disappears, it may be because it contains illegal content or activity such as:
- Images or content that violates the owner’s copyright
- Content of dangerous or illegal acts (e.g., human trafficking, sexual assault, etc.)
- Illegal products or services like endangered animal products, illegal drugs, prescription drugs sold on a black market, etc.
- Images or content that promote violence
- Content produced by or on behalf of terrorist groups
Was your Google Business Profile hit with fake reviews from a terrorist group in an attempt to recruit others, promote terrorist acts, incite violence, or celebrate terrorist acts? It will be removed.
Although terrorist content is unlikely for small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States, it could happen.
Sexually Explicit Content
Reviews containing sexually explicit material and/or the sexual exploitation of minors will be removed immediately.
Google will remove reviews containing obscene gestures, profanity, or offensive language.
Dangerous and Derogatory Content
Google reviews will be removed if its content is deemed dangerous or derogatory, including but not limited to:
- Threatens or advocates for harm of oneself or others
- Harasses, intimidates, or bullies an individual or group of individuals
- Incites hatred against, promotes discrimination of, or disparages an individual or group of individuals based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristics associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization
Reviews left on behalf of others, under a different Google account, will be removed.
Google also reserves the right to remove content, suspend accounts, and/or pursue other legal action against review contributors who falsely claim they represent or are employed by Google.
Conflict of Interest
A Google review may disappear if Google finds a conflict of interest within the review content or from the user. This includes:
- Reviewing your own business or the business you work for
- Posting a review about a current or former employment experience (including employees who were terminated with rightful cause)
- Posting content about a competitor to manipulate their ratings or search position
You Received a Large Influx of Reviews Overnight
Businesses should strive to generate reviews on their Google Business Profile organically, meaning a consistent cadence of new reviews is generated each month.
If you go 10 months without a review and then overnight get (for example) 25 reviews, this may cause your Google reviews to disappear.
The Review Was Written From Inside Your Store or From Too Far Away
Google is smart. It detects a user’s IP address (telling it exactly where the review was left from). If a review was left from inside your store, Google might remove it.
If you serve local customers in their homes, like an HVAC company, plumber, roofer, etc., and a review is left from someone across the country, Google may remove it.
Google Glitched, and Now Your Google Review Disappeared
Google is a behemoth of a search engine. It’s the largest in the world and holds approximately a 90% U.S. market share.
As such, Google has many algorithms and software to manage its search engine and platforms it owns—like Google Business Profiles.
Sometimes, Google experiences bugs and glitches in their technology, causing Google Business reviews to disappear. While Google rarely admits fault, this could be the case for your missing reviews.
Your Google Business Profile Was Suspended, and Now Google Reviews Disappeared
If your Google Business Profile was suspended, then reinstated, and reviews disappeared during that process, you can get your reviews back.
Submit a Google Business Profile support ticket for more assistance.
Don’t Forget To Make Sure the User Didn’t Delete Their Review
In rare cases, a Google user may delete a review for any reason. If one (or multiple) Google reviews disappeared, double-check it wasn’t deleted.
Getting Your Reviews Back Isn’t Easy
Unfortunately, getting your disappearing Google reviews back isn’t as easy as it sounds, and there is no guarantee that they will ever come back.
According to Google’s own documentation, missing reviews that were flagged for policy violations are not eligible to reappear on your profile.
Our Recommendation to (Possibly) Get Your Disappearing Google Reviews Back
At this time, it is still unknown whether you will get your reviews back.
However, we recommend submitting a Google Business Profile support ticket to bring your case to Google and (possibly) get your reviews back.
Why You Need To Prioritize Google Business Profile Management
Google Business Profiles are more important than most business owners think. It’s not a checkbox to complete on your list of marketing priorities.
That’s because today, at Blue Corona, we see Google Business Profile as a major source of qualified leads for our clients.
Take a look at the chart below, which shows calls generated by Google Business Profiles and Google’s local pack (AKA “maps listings”) have risen dramatically over the last 33 months:
Calls Generated by Google Business profiles
Google Business Profiles and the local pack (in purple) are now generating just as many, if not more, calls than traditional organic calls (blue) from individuals who visit our clients’ websites before calling the company.
If you’re not prioritizing your Google Business Profile in your SEO strategy, you’re missing out on qualified leads and sales to your competitors, guaranteed.
Manage Your Google Business Profile the Right Way
At Blue Corona, we specialize in helping home service businesses get more bang for their buck from their online marketing. We’ve helped hundreds of service companies:
- Increase qualified leads and sales from the web
- Reduce their marketing costs and increase ROI
- Differentiate their brands online from top competitors
If you’re looking for a home services marketing agency equipped with the knowledge, tools, and expertise to get you more qualified leads from your Google Business Profile, contact us online or give us a call. Let’s grow your business together!