Why Your Google Reviews Are Not Showing Up

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We occasionally receive calls from business owners telling us that their Google reviews are not showing up. Most of these calls are from businesses that are not using the Five Star Review System to generate Google reviews, but found us on the Internet.

This is usually a temporary issue and seems to correspond to times when Google makes updates to their own system. Reviews generally show up within a few days. Google typically shows reviews immediately.

Why Aren’t My Google Reviews Showing Up?

It’s frustrating to get a notification from the system indicating that one of your customers clicked on your Google link, only to discover when you go there, that you can’t find their review. Here are the top four reasons why you may not see a review on Google:

Your Customer Did Not Write A Review

Don’t assume that when a customer goes to Google from the system that they actually wrote a review. The system shows you what review site link they clicked on, but it can’t tell you if they actually wrote a review or not.

If you don’t see a review, the most likely scenario was that your customer didn’t have a Google account and was immediately confronted with a request to set one up. Most non-Google users stop right there, not because creating a Google account is hard to do, because it’s not. They don’t create a Google account because they don’t want to provide Google with their date of birth, gender and other information that is required to create an account. The single biggest reason you will not see a review on Google is because your customer never wrote it.

If you’re seeing a lot of people going to Google from the system and very few reviews showing up, it’s generally an indication that someone in your office is asking customers to write reviews on Google specifically, rather than allowing them to choose the review site from your list. You can stop this by not trying to direct people to any one specific site.

Your Customer Used Bad Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Content, etc.

Google filters a small percentage of reviews based on things like grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. If you want to learn more about this, please read my article entitled Another Reason Google Filters Reviews. I’ll show you why Google filtered three of my reviews and what I had to do to get them to show up publicly. The only people able to see filtered reviews are the Google users who wrote them. Google does not show the business owner filtered reviews.

If you’re completely persuaded that your customer wrote a review and you can’t see it, you can ask your customer to go to their personal Google Plus account (where they will be able to see their review if they actually wrote it) and make the necessary content changes to their review so that Google will release if for public viewing.

Your Customer Wrote A Review But Google Is Delaying Showing It

Google has been known to delay showing a review for up to three days. An indication that a review is being delayed is text on your Google Plus page that indicates that you have 8 reviews but you only see 7 of them. Often the 8th review will show up in a few days.

I have no idea why Google delays some reviews and shows other immediately. It happens, but not very often.

How Do You Know If A Customer Actually Wrote A Review On Google?

Most of us want to believe that our customer took the time to write a review for us (because they told us they would) and we blame Google for filtering it. But that’s usually not the case. It is true that Google does filter reviews for the reasons listed above but in most cases your customer just decided that the process of leaving a review was too difficult.

The Businesses With The Most Reviews Have These 7 Things In Common

1

They provide service worthy of a 5-star review.

2

They verbally ask their customers if they will write a review.

3

The person with the most intimate relationship with the customer is the person who asks for the review.

4

They make it easy for their customers to find their review websites.

5

They provide multiple review websites to choose from and never send customers to any one particular review site.

6

They send their review request while their customer is is with them and watching them send it.

7

They send an Off-The-Hook Review Reminder to their customers who did not write a review.

Take Away Lesson

Don’t ask customers to review you on any single review site. If they’re not qualified to leave a review on the site you send them to, they’ll either not write a review or their review will get filtered. Trust your customers to review you on the sites where their reviews is most likely to show up.

Another Reason Google Filters Reviews

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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.

If you think one of your customers wrote a review for you, there is only one way to know for sure. You must ask them to go to their personal Google Plus page and see if Google filtered their review. You cannot see filtered reviews written by your customers, but your customers can quickly see if Google filtered their review.

As it turns out, three of my reviews were 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.

Original – Filtered

Edited – Now Public

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.

Original – Filtered

Edited – Now Public

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.

Original – Filtered

Edited – Now Public

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.

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 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. Truth is, Google is much better at letting reviews get published publicly now they were back in 2013-2014

Google Review Filter

Lesson #1:  Google does not suffer fools

Can’t Spell

Bad Grammar

Bad Or Excessive Punctuation

Not Respectful

Too Short

Shows Contact Information

Includes Link

Identical Review On Another Website

Excessive CAPITALIZATION

So What Can You Do About Filtered Reviews?

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

Personally, unless the reviewer is your very best friend, I would ignore it and move on. Yes, reviews do get filtered, but trying to tell everyone how to write a review is silly.