fbpx

10 Reasons Your Google Reviews Are Missing

Have some of your customer reviews vanished?

A common issue businesses face is having their Google reviews go missing.

 It’s an odd situation, with some businesses seeing new and older reviews suddenly disappearing and reappearing later.

 

There are two scenarios that typically occur:


1: You get a notification that a customer has left a review. But when you go to respond, the review isn’t there.

This is a case of the review being posted, picked up by Google, and removed.

2: A customer leaves a review but it’s not public. The customer can see the review on their end, but it doesn’t show up on the business end.

This is a case of Google flagging the review before it can be published.

 

Google acknowledged that missing reviews were due to a bug on their end. In 2017, they made a statement saying…

“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.”

 

You may be affected by a Google Maps bug, which means your reviews may not be missing at all. Many small business owners have reported experiencing this bug off and on, and find their missing reviews tend to come back once the bug is fixed.

Google’s filtering algorithm can also cause reviews to disappear and suddenly come back later.

This is frustrating to say the least, especially when you lose a glowing customer review.

 

Want to double check if Google has removed your reviews?

  1. Log in to Google Maps.
  2. Click on the menu bar on the top left.
  3. Open the menu and choose, “Your Contributions.”
  4. Click on the “Reviews” tab that comes under your profile.
  5. Copy the URL and paste it into an Incognito window.
  6. Compare the number of reviews on each window.

 

If you have fewer reviews in your Incognito window, it’s likely Google has removed reviews due to a policy violation.

However, there is a silver lining…

Once you know why Google is flagging your reviews, you can work with your team and customers to minimise the chances of it happening in the future.

 

10 reasons your Google reviews are missing

 

1. Leaving a review on your own business profile

Reviews from staff or people connected with the business may be removed because Google doesn’t count them as genuine customer interactions.

For example:

If you manage a business profile with the email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., you can’t leave a review on your own profile.

It’s important to remember, the person leaving a review cannot be the manager of the Google Business Profile. In most cases that review will get flagged or removed for breaching Google’s policy.

 

 

2. Once you get flagged, it’s likely to happen again

Once you get picked up by Google’s spam filters once, there’s a higher chance it will happen again.

This is due to Google’s algorithm trying to keep their platform spam-free and safe. Unfortunately, the algorithm is far from perfect and can end up removing perfectly legitimate customer reviews in the process.

Currently, Google’s algorithm isn’t able to accurately determine what’s real and fake. This means it has to rely on a broad set of rules that may cause a perfectly genuine review to be removed.

 

 

3. Limited amount of reviews on other platforms

It’s essential to give customers an option to leave a review on other platforms and services besides Google.

Businesses who don’t have many reviews on Facebook and Yelp may experience some of their Google reviews being removed.

When this occurs, Google thinks you are incentivising reviews on their platform, and limiting customers from choosing other platforms. Google’s algorithm treats this as spam, and may remove reviews from your profile.

 

 

4. Big changes to the amount of new reviews every week

If your business gets too many reviews in a short period of time, you may get flagged for frontloading (aka artificially adding more reviews to get more favourable results from Google’s algorithm).

Google sees this as suspicious activity and thinks you paid for, or incentivised reviews from inauthentic sources. This can happen if you get a lot of reviews in a short period of time, and never got that frequency in the past.

That’s why we suggest aiming for a consistent stream of 1-2 per customer reviews per week.

If your business profile is getting 50 reviews one week, then 0 the next, Google can remove your customer reviews, and in some cases, lock your business profile for suspicious activity.

 

 

5. Merging a business profile or updating your information

Reviews can go missing if:

  • You have duplicated business profiles
  • You recently merged accounts
  • You’ve recently updated your business information
  • The best course of action is to contact Google support for assistance to get your reviews reinstated.

 

Something to keep in mind from Google is:

“If you set a future opening date for your business that hasn’t opened yet, any reviews left before it’s open to the public will be removed.”

A key thing to remember is to fully update and set up Google Business Profile before you request new reviews.

 

 

6. People reviewing from different states or countries

Every device that connects to the internet has a unique IP address. This tells Google the location the review is coming from.

Reviews from IP addresses in countries or locations not associated with your business can seem suspicious.

For example, if your business is located in Melbourne, and you receive a review from an IP address in Tasmania – there is a higher chance the review will get removed.

This can pose a problem when customers leave a review while using a virtual proxy network (VPN), which can manipulate their IP address. In this instance, the customer will have to turn off their VPN to get their review through.

 

 

7. Spam words triggering Google’s filters

Here’s what Google has to say…

“In most cases, missing reviews were removed for policy violations like spam or inappropriate content. We do not reinstate reviews that were removed for policy violations. These removal measures help make sure that reviews on Google properties are relevant, helpful, and trustworthy.”

Google is committed to keeping their platform as spam-free and safe as possible. That means they take a hard and fast approach to customer reviews.

Often, they’ll pick up customer reviews before its published and decide not to show them. The customer will see their review on their side, but the business won’t see it because it's not public.

The algorithm may flag certain words as questionable or inappropriate, and decide to stop the review from going public.

In Google’s eyes, this prevents any reviews with profanity and inappropriate slurs from going live.

 

 

8. Duplicate reviews on across the web

Google requires unique customer reviews on all platforms and websites. And they commonly remove reviews that have been directly copied and pasted across the web.

Duplicate reviews can occur for two reasons:

  1. A customer copies their own review and pastes it on your Facebook account.
  2. If you directly copy and paste customer reviews onto your business website.

You can get around this issue by requesting customers write unique reviews to use on your website. Or you can directly stream reviews onto your website with Cube’s Website Widget.

 

 

9. The customer review has broken Google’s rules

Google takes privacy and identity theft very seriously.

A customer review can be removed if it contains a URL, phone number, or physical address.

This can trigger Google’s privacy filters which actively try to prevent personal information from being leaked online.

 


10. Google updated their Maps app and is having a few bugs

Your Google Business Profile may be affected by a Google Maps bug. Your reviews may not be missing, instead they’re just not showing right now.

Bugs tend to affect certain areas, and Google may take a few days to resolve the issue.

Many small business owners have experienced bugs off and on, and it seems like this will be an ongoing issue due to Google periodically updating their map app.

 

Access live updates inside your Google Business profile

  1. Sign in to manage your Google Business Profile.
  2. In the menu on the left, click “Info.”
  3. Under "Your business is live on Google," you'll find links to go to your profile on Google Search or Google Maps.
  4. Click these links to see how your business appears on each service.

 

If you’re experiencing a bug, the best thing to do is wait it out.


It can be difficult and frustrating to keep up with all of Google’s policies. That’s why the best course of action is to…

Consistently generate more reviews

The best defense against missing reviews is to follow Google’s best practices and keep getting more reviews consistently.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Provide options for customers to leave reviews on platforms like Facebook, Yelp, and TrueLocal.
  • Use SMS, email, landing pages, and word of mouth strategies to point customers to your review page.
  • If reviews are flagged, work with customers to update their reviews to be in line with Google’s policies.

It’s essential to have a review strategy in place to increase your reputation online.

 

Want help getting more reviews?

Speak with a Cube digital marketing specialist about proven strategies to help bring in more customer reviews for your business.

 

Please provide your name.
Invalid email address.
Invalid phone number.
Invalid web address.
What is your budget?
Please select a state
How can we help?

 

 

Cube Logo
Cube Logo

    

    

Level 2
61 Dunning Ave Rosebery
NSW 2018

Sign Up

Join 3000+ businesses and sign up for our newsletter to get a better idea of what we do, and some great marketing tips to bring more customers to your business.

Invalid Input

Invalid Input