Latest posts by Joel (see all)
- Should You Always Aim to Rank Your Business #1 via Google Ads? - July 16, 2023
- Google Says We’re in the Top 97th Percentile of Agencies (Again) - March 10, 2023
- Why Google Customer Reviews Don’t Show or Publish Right Away - January 12, 2023
It’s a mammoth task for Google to maintain the quality of reviews on its platform
Yelp receives 26,830 new reviews per minute (translating into over 1.6 million reviews an hour, or 38.6 million reviews every day). While that’s a huge number, Google is far more popular when it comes to online reviews (particularly in Australia). So it would be safe to say the number of Google reviews would be many multiples of this. We’re talking big numbers.
Like any platform, there are unfortunately a small number of ‘bad actors’ who attempt to spam or cheat the system. Google therefore has a range of systems in place to block and filter out suspicious looking reviews. In 2020 alone, Google removed 55 million suspected fake reviews. It’s certainly a job that I wouldn’t envy!
Why do customer reviews not always show, get published right away or go missing on Google?
- Because Google is still processing the review to make sure it meets it’s quality standards (this normally takes less than 24 hours, but in rare situations can sometimes take several weeks)
- Google’s algorithms have already determined that the review looks suspicious and are therefore ‘filtering’ it and will not display it to the public. Google’s systems generally do an ‘OK’ job of getting this right, but are certainly not perfect.
Unfortunately there is no reliable way of overriding the algorithm.
What factors could make a review look suspicious and cause it to ‘go missing’ or get ‘filtered’ by Google?
Google’s review filtering algorithms tend to be quite complex, and Google doesn’t share its specific algorithms with the public (as that would only encourage bad actors to just game the system). There are many factors Google’s automated and manual systems look at, here are a few examples:
- If the review violates Google’s review guidelines (for example, if it includes abuse, swearing, contains links) or just generally looks or sounds suspicious
- If it’s been left by someone who doesn’t have much of an established track record (for example if they’ve only left a few of reviews, or perhaps this may be their first review ever).
- If the review has been left from a newly established account
- If the review has been left from a suspicious IP address (for example, someone using a VPN, or who appears to be based overseas, or if multiple reviews are coming through from the same IP/location)
- If the review was left by someone who has not actually visited the business premises or lives in the general area (if relevant, and if data is available)
- There are also a heap of other factors like review velocity, whether people are all following the exact same review link, if reviews are being left from the same IP/location that manages the listing, account history and so on.
So what should your business do to maximise results when it comes to review filtering and missing Google reviews?
Review filtering is unfortunately a fact of life. Try not to lose too much sleep over it, and instead consider the following:
- If a specific customer’s review has been filtered and you are in communication with them, you might like to kindly ask them to copy paste that same review across to another platform (such as ProductReview.com.au, Facebook etc)
- Don’t give up! Keep persisting and consistently asking happy customers to review you. Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint, and in many respects it’s a numbers game
- As much as possible, we recommend systematising and automating the process of customer review collection because best results are always seen from a consistent steady stream of reviews over time. Need help? Ask us, as we have a range of systems that can often save huge amounts of time and help to produce a much better result (on auto-pilot) so you to run circles around the competition
- Definitely consider diversifying the online review platforms you prioritise. Do you really want all your eggs in the one basket? What if there is ever a false positive, and one platform might happen to suspend your listing (it unfortunately happens semi-regularly). In addition to Google reviews, we often recommend making ProductReview.com.au a priority platform to collect reviews on, as there are many advantages that can come from this platform (particularly if you can accrue 50-100+ reviews over 12 months) and these can greatly benefit your online reputation while also helping to maximise the performance of the Google Ads campaigns we run for you. Other review platforms worth considering include TrustPilot, TrueLocal, WOMO and Facebook. As a bonus, most of these platforms generally end up getting indexed within the Google Search results over time as well, meaning more reviews and more stars in more places!
We hope you found this to be a helpful read. If so, we’d love it if you left us a thumbs up or comment below!