Google reviews are vital to the success of your company’s marketing strategy.
Especially if you operate a local service business, getting more Google reviews is a lifeline for greater visibility online to help win you more sales.
But what happens when your Google business reviews don’t show up? Maybe one of your five-star Google reviews disappeared or went missing and your star rating goes down.
When Google reviews are not showing up for your business, it can be incredibly frustrating. You work for those hard-earned reviews and your company deserves the recognition.
So why is your Google business review not showing up? And what can you do about it to recover positive reviews about your business, improve your rating and increase your revenue?
In this article, we will talk about Google’s review policy and overview some common reasons why Google reviews might not show up correctly.
But first, let’s highlight why reviews are important for small businesses so you can understand why it’s essential to reclaim your missing reviews on Google from customers.
We will also explain the steps you need to follow if your Google reviews aren't showing up.
Let’s get started!
It’s vital not to understate the importance of customer reviews. They show your reputation, help you rank on the “Local 3-Pack” and improve the performance of Google Local Services Ads.
And Google reviews also help you close deals. According to online review statistics, potential customers read more than ten reviews on average before they decide on a local business.
But what good are reviews if they go missing on Google? Imagine the feeling of receiving a five-star review that raves about your amazing customer service only for it to disappear.
If this happens to you, why is it that your Google reviews are not showing up? The culprit might have to do with the Google Review Policy.
When it comes to reviews, Google has strict policies that cover customer reviews on their platform.
Two relevant guidelines here that may impact Google reviews going missing are 1) Prohibited and Restricted Content and 2) Format-Specific Criteria for text reviews and captions.
Google has a policy for Prohibited and Restricted Content that applies to reviews.
Google analyzes all reviews and determines if any of them are subject to removal for reasons such as spam, fake reviews, offensive language or a conflict of interest.
If you ever see one of your business reviews on Google suddenly stop showing up, it could be because it violated this Google policy.
If Google detects any inappropriate or off-topic reviews, they flag them and take them down as they do not comply with their policies.
In addition to Prohibited and Restricted Content, Google has set what they call Format-Specific Criteria, including for “text reviews and captions,” that can determine a review’s eligibility.
For instance, you can’t selectively solicit only positive reviews, actively discourage negative reviews or pay for reviews.
So have you ever asked yourself, “why are my Google reviews not showing up?” It could be because you’re violating some of these examples from Google’s Format-Specific Criteria.
Let’s go over the list of all the reasons why Google reviews for your business might disappear so you can accurately diagnose your particular situation.
When your Google reviews are not showing up, that means you’ve made an error that needs to be fixed or the reviewer themself violated a policy.
Here are some common reasons why Google reviews don’t show up:
Google has strict guidelines when it comes to adding URLs and links in reviews. Reviews that have URLs are removed almost instantly.
This is because Google considers reviews with URLs in them to probably be spam.
If you see a review with a link and it hasn’t yet been removed, try to get in touch with the customer and ask them to edit their review to remove the link before Google takes it down.
Quality is of the utmost priority to Google, so they’re rigorous in removing any spam reviews.
For a review to not be considered spam, it must align with Google’s review policy about Prohibited and Restricted content. Plus, Google also flags reviews marked as spam by others.
Google marks reviews made from profiles without a name, photo and other important details as fake Google reviews because Google wants to uphold authenticity and transparency.
In many cases, fake reviews are submitted when a business resorts to buying Google reviews. In such cases, most of these reviews are created by bots using fake profiles.
Therefore, buying reviews for your business can lead to severe problems for your business’ presence on Google and can even lead to the removal of your Google Business Profile.
When traffic is too high and Google has limited working members on its team, it has in the past resorted to disabling the review section of Google Business Profiles for a temporary period.
For instance, this happened at the outset of the ongoing global health pandemic when Google temporarily disabled reviews.
In such times, it’s common for reviews to go missing. Also, customers won’t be able to leave new reviews and you won’t be able to respond to any existing ones.
If your business is new on Google, it’s possible that customers haven’t come across your Google Business Profile yet as it might not have started ranking highly and is difficult to find.
Therefore, it’s essential to increase your marketing efforts to attract more customers. The more customers you attract, the more reviews you’ll get.
If you haven’t updated your Google Business Profile in a long time and customers no longer engage with it, it’s possible that your business lost its verification status on Google.
Unverified businesses will not rank on Google Search or Google Maps; as a result, existing or new reviews left by your customers will not be visible to the public.
Sometimes a past review will go missing if the customer who wrote the review has their personal Google account deactivated.
This can happen if they break Google policies or even intentionally on their part.
For example, for security reasons, people can preemptively set their account to be deactivated via Google’s Inactive Account Manager.
When this happens, all of the user’s data, including their reviews, will be removed.
When there are duplicate listings, including accidental or inadvertent ones, Google will remove one of them.
Thus, if your Google Business Profile has a duplicate, your reviews might be visible on another listing instead of the active one.
To check if your business has any duplicates, search for your business on Google, and if you find one, you can rectify it by reporting it as a duplicate.
Did your business change locations and you forgot to update it on Google?
In most cases, Google transfers all the reviews to the new location on Google Maps that your business has relocated to, but sometimes this may not be the case.
For businesses like hotels and restaurants that have a strong connection to the locality, it’s possible Google does not transfer the reviews automatically.
In such cases, reach out to Google for assistance. While it might take a while for them to process the change, getting your reviews transferred is definitely worth your time and effort.
To avoid any problems, if your business has changed locations, make sure to proactively update your address on your Google Business Profile. This might require you to reverify your business.
As Google themselves state, most of the time when a business review no longer shows up, it’s because of “policy violations like spam or inappropriate content.”
In principle, Google does not reinstate reviews that violated a policy, but you can fight the violation itself if you think Google made a mistake in the first place.
For Google reviews not showing up for other reasons, you can enquire to Google using the same below steps as you would if you were to report an inaccurate policy violation.
If your Google reviews are not showing up, you can take the following steps to fix the issue:
Google reviews not showing is quite common. Many businesses face this problem regularly. There are many reasons why Google reviews might go missing, but there is a solution.
When your reviews go missing, don’t panic and just follow the steps mentioned in the article to fix the issue.
To ensure you’re never short of reviews even if a few go missing, make sure to always get more Google reviews so you can maintain your star rating and beat out your local competition!