Google is now allowing Google Plus users to look at the reviews they’ve written to see which reviews (if any) are being filtered from public view. You cannot see reviews that are being filtered by people who have written reviews for your business, but you can see the reviews that you’ve written for other businesses that are being filtered. As it turns out, three of my reviews were being filtered. Here’s what I did to make them publicly viewable.

The first example is a review I wrote for Sacred Gardens of Maliko. Google filtered this review because I misspelled the name of the business. I wrote “Sacred Garder” rather than “Sacred Garden”. Once I corrected the spelling, my review became immediately public.

GardenMaliko

The next example was for the owner of a landscaping company. I did multiple things on this review that caused Google to place me in time-out. I not only provided contact information which included a physical address and telephone number, but I also added a link to one of my websites. Once that information was removed, my review became immediately public.

MenehuneWorks

The third example required some head scratching. As it turns out, Google does not like to see punctuation that’s not normal … and by normal I mean three dots in a row. Once I changed the punctuation … you guessed it … my review immediately became public.

BehindTheLens

Now you’re probably thinking, “Hey Bob, Google is telling you to visit a link that shows you what’s wrong. Why didn’t you just go there to see what the problem was instead of trying to figure this out on your own?” Well, I’m one step ahead of you.  As it turns out … surprise, surprise … the link was not very helpful. Check out “this link” and see for yourself.

Let me tell you a little about Bob the Reviewer.

  1. I write a lot of reviews — 67 on just Google
  2. I don’t write fake reviews for anyone for any reason – Ever!
  3. I only review businesses where I’ve been a customer or supplier and I clearly identify my role in my review. Here’s what Google says about this. “Don’t post reviews on behalf of others or misrepresent your identity or affiliation with the place you are reviewing.”
  4. I don’t write bad reviews because I know how devastating they can be to a business. Don’t hate on me for not hating on others.
  5. I write 5-star reviews to reward the people and companies that provide exceptional service — Period!

I know more about the review process on Google than most people and Google still filters my reviews. So if Google is filtering the reviews of someone who does this everyday, what do you think they’re doing to someone who has never written a review before.

Google Review Filter
Lesson #1:  Google does not suffer fools

  • Can’t spell — Filtered
  • Bad grammar — Filtered
  • Bad or excessive punctuation — Filtered
  • Not respectful — Filtered
  • Too Short — Filtered
  • Shows contact information — Filtered
  • Includes link — Filtered
  • Identical review on another website — Filtered
  • Excessive CAPITALIZATION — Filtered
  • Profanity — Filtered

If you’re wondering why many of your Google reviews are not showing up, (and this is an issue EVERY business owner deals with) this could be why. Based on your demographics, you could have half or more of your legitimate customer reviews filtered for one or more of the reasons listed above.

So what can you do about it?

  1. You can contact your customer who has written a review for you and ask them to edit their review so that it shows up.
  2. You can educate your customers about how Google filters reviews before they write a review for you?
  3. You can show appreciation and leave well enough alone?

What would you do and why? Please comment and let us know.