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Reviews can make or break a business when it’s in its infancy, but they actually have a lot of power over any business, large or small. Google reviews in particular are a quick way for prospective customers to see whether they wish to enlist your services. They can also be a factor in determining where your business is positioned in the map listings. There can be several issues with actually getting reviews you’ve received to appear. We’ve put together a trouble-shooting guide that should help to ensure this problem plagues you no longer.

Review spikes

You should always ask customers to leave reviews if they have enjoyed your service but you should do this on an individual basis. If you send out a mass request to your customer email list and experience an influx of reviews Google will flag this as they will know you have probably solicited customers. Google prefers for customers to leave reviews of their own volition as this shows how genuine their satisfaction with your services was.

For this reason if you would like your customers to review you, make sure you send your emails in a staggered fashion or email each customer with a link to your Google business page once they have completed their business with your company.

Duplicated Google reviews

If your reviewer simply copies and pastes their review from one that already exists then this will likely result in Google removing it. Google always wants unique content, anything less than this just won’t do, even if the original review was from another site.

No spam please!

What Google wants, and what your prospective customers want, is a genuine review. If a review left for your business contains a URL or a phone number Google may see this as someone trying to spam your reviews, perhaps in order to gain more visibility for their own company. Unfortunately, this may not be the case as many people could be including a link to a competitor of yours and stating that what you do or provide is better than them. A way to avoid this problem is to specify that customers don’t include links when leaving a review.

On-site reviews

Though you’re most likely to get a review from a customer when they’re on your premises when you’re in a good position to request this, it could be counterproductive. If, for example, you were to reserve a computer or iPad solely for customers so they could fill out reviews this will look like a conflict of interest to Google.

As the review will be linked to your IP address, it will appear to Google as if you or your employees are trying to create fake reviews in order to boost your business and they’ll view this as a conflict of interest.

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Violation of Google review conditions

Another thing that could be affecting the amount of Google reviews that are showing for your business is whether any of your reviews contain content that violates Google review terms of conditions. This includes:

  • Offensive language
  • Copyrighted content
  • Anything deemed illegal in general
  • Explicit and discriminatory material

Content such as the above may result in review being manually removed whereas content that is too short or includes any of the bullet points below will automatically be filtered.

  • Poor spelling
  • Bad grammar
  • Wrong punctuation
  • Profanity
  • Excessive capitalization
  • Shows contact information

Growing your Google reviews

If you’re eager to grow the amount of Google reviews you have then it’s not as hard as you may think. Once you’ve completed a transaction with a customer make sure to email them, thanking them and asking if they could leave you a review, making sure to provide the URL you saved in the body of the email.

Customers can leave reviews by following the steps below:

  • Log out of your Google account
  • Search for your Google My Business listing and click the blue ‘down arrow’ button.
  • In the review and rate section, select five stars and this will become the default scoring associated with the link you send to customers.
  • Copy the page URL and save.

If you’re having issues with your Google reviews beyond what we’ve elaborated on here then you can visit the Google My Business forum and search for similar situations or click the magenta plus sign icon to ask your own question. Provide all the details and a fellow business owner or Google expert can shed some light.

We hope this helps. Get in touch with us if you’d like some personal insight into your business.