Reviews are important. If there is one thing that has been getting traction across the internet over 2019 it has been the importance of genuine independent reviews. Along with companies like Reviews.io, TrustPilot and Feefo; Google has been using its Google My Business platform to further promote companies, integrating many of the Google+ features into it’s company system.
But these changes have come at a cost as several bugs have come out of the woodwork in recent months. For example in April 2019 Google introduced short names as a way of allowing businesses to create custom URLs ofr thei Google My Business Listing.
Unfortunately Search Engine Journal reported on the 9th July 2019 that SEO’s that had added this feature were finding their legitimate pages getting suspenede and removed from SERPs.
The latest problem, not necessarily a bug is meaning the tools set up to vet and weed out fake reviews have become increasingly zealous.
The company says legitimate reviews were inadvertently removed from business listings during Google’s efforts to remove fake reviews.
Here’s Google’s full statement:
“In our ongoing efforts to remove fake reviews from Maps, we’ve experienced an increase in reviews being removed from businesses. We are inspecting our tools and systems to ensure that any legitimate reviews are reinstated.”
If you take it at face value – legitimate reviews were accidentally removed and they may or may not be restored.
One search expert Joy Hawkins (who Google reached out to about this issue) has a different interpretation, believing that the reviews won’t be coming back.
“In my experience, when Google adjusts something that automatically removes reviews across tons of listings algorithmically, they do not restore these since they were removed intentionally.”
Only time will tell whether the issue gets resolved or simply forgotten. Unfortunately there is little businesses can do as this is all on Google’s end.