You walk into the office, say hello to a few coworkers, put your lunch in the fridge, grab a cup of coffee, sit at your desk, open your browser, and log into your company’s Google Business Profile account. You notice your latest review is missing from your business profile. Oh no!
If that scenario is not scary enough, picture yourself scrolling through your GBP (formerly known as Google My Business, abbreviated as GMB) and noticing a ton of disappearing reviews. The well-earned client reviews you’ve worked your tail off for years have completely disappeared.
Sadly, several companies do not have to use their imaginations; they lived this nightmare. So, why are Google Reviews disappearing, and what can you do to fix the damage?
A couple of factors are driving the problems with Google Business Profiles. Technology’s rapid advancement and human nature to take shortcuts are driving these scenarios.
Let’s take a closer look at what has been occurring and the technical and human factors causing these business profile reviews to be practically wiped clean.
The Power of Google Business Reviews
The benefits of digital technology are widely known: flexible, dynamic, and efficient, and it provides digital marketers with new, exciting ways to build a brand. Like every action, these changes come with potential downsides.
Once a business puts its applications in the Google cloud, it loses control over them. They are now at the mercy – and efficiency — of Google.
These applications are large, complex, and dynamic. The process of creating and updating them works well. Occasionally, Google algorithms make mistakes – sometimes catastrophic ones, as occurred in November.
Shazam! Google Business Profile Reviews Disappear
In large tech companies, teams of humans diligently try to avoid system hiccups. But they are pulled in many directions, cannot test every possible scenario, and are impacted by life circumstances, like having too much work and not enough time, wandering attention, office politics, and lots of traffic on their commute.
So regularly, tech developers overlook something obvious, hit the wrong key, and do not recognize something complex. Ooops. The misstep’s implications then ripple through the system, usually causing minor disturbances but sometimes hitting like a tsunami.
What Caused My Google Reviews to Disappear?
Such was the case in November when a Google update knocked Google Business Profile (GBP) reviews offline. In this case, a programming misstep changed their Ludocid, sometimes called the ‘CID’, a unique ID that Google assigns to each business location to pinpoint it within its systems.
Consequently, the customers’ review pages existed, but Google and other search engines could not find them or direct anyone else to them when they “Google My Business” and entered the correct link. Therefore, the business reviews disappeared, and the customers suffered – some Google Business Profile reviews disappeared – from the vendor’s miscue.
In other cases, pages and sites are deliberately taken down. Why? Check the local headlines, and one sees that the top technology vendors are under siege – just ask Mark Zuckerberg about it.
Initially, they put lax rules in place and acted to a degree like Pontius Pilot, claiming to only be information conduits and not responsible for the legitimacy of any of the content posted on their platforms.
As consumers’ attention –– and buying $$ –– shifted from traditional information sources to Internet media, marketers found themselves vying for clicks and downloads, which ideally led to an eventual sale. As more and more money was spent on digital marketing, competition intensified.
Fake Reviews Lead to Harsh Measures
Established marketers were joined by nefarious groups, like criminals and national governments. They all recognized that the Internet was the Wild Wild West, with plenty of opportunity but no sheriffs closely guarding the town. As a result, corporations started to skew items, like product reviews.
Since anyone could see GBP reviews, companies needed them to be positive. In response, many marketers encouraged their happy customers to post their thoughts. Some began to pay people with money or merchandise to write glowing reviews.
Others simply made them up themselves by leaving fake reviews – a huge red flag for Google’s algorithm.
Google Business Profile Filters Negatively Impact Reviews
As such deeds became known, consumers and the government began pressuring and even publicly shaming vendors, like Facebook and Google, to put stronger checks in place to verify that data on their platforms was coming from legitimate sources.
However, the demands have become a classic “Close the Barn Door After the Horse has Gone” scenario. The nefarious parties honed their craft for decades and spent a lot of time, effort, and money on their ruses.
Consequently, figuring out a way to identify real comments, stories, and advertisements from fakes is not easy in cyberspace, something that Elon Musk has publicly demonstrated since he took over Twitter.
Be Aware of Google’s Review Guidelines
Business owners and reputation managers should know the guidelines Google Business Profile has. These guidelines are set to ensure the quality and authenticity of your reviews.
Reviews will disappear if they share the same IP address as the business location. Google will flag and remove any review posted with your business’s IP address – encourage clients to leave a review after they leave your place of business to avoid any wipes.
Explicit language and mature content will also be flagged by Google and removed. Reviews must comply with Google’s policies to avoid a wipe.
Managing Your Online Reputation with Google Business Profile
Businesses have become collateral damage in this cyber battle. Google and the other tech vendors fine-tune the algorithms used to take down the fakes, but again make mistakes, and legitimate businesses get caught up in the virtual stings.
Their livelihood is threatened as algorithms are tested and missteps, such as disappearing Google Reviews, are taken – and ideally eventually corrected. Consider this a painful stage of the growth of the Internet and digital marketing.
Google Business Profile Review’s Impact on Companies
How can a business protect itself? First, it needs to recognize the disappearing Google Business Profile problems as well as its lack of expertise in addressing them. They need help.
At Jungle Communications, we follow best SEO and Google review best practices closely with our reputation management services.
With reputation management, businesses can navigate the rugged terrain of client reviews, understand what is happening in the world of Google’s latest algorithm updates, and most importantly get to the right clients to increase the number of conversions.
Does Disappearing Google Reviews Hurt My Profile?
You’re probably asking yourself: why are Google reviews necessary for my business? Well as of 2022, over 4.5 billion people have used Google search to find places, ask questions, or just look up products.
Populating over a billion users, Google makes it easier for consumers to then find businesses with a Google Business Profile page.
It is a free and easy-to-use online directory where consumers have the accessibility to find your business on Google Maps, leave reviews, access your website, see business hours, and even receive updates, and special offers.
Google reviews are also an essential marketing tool for your business as it dictates your local search ranking position. Studies show that reviews can increase conversion rates for your business. Studies show that about 93% were persuaded to make a transaction because of online reviews.
Hence why is it very integral to resolve missing reviews if this issue occurs on your business profile? With reviews disappearing from your account, consumers will be less likely to convert. Consumers are more likely to feel confident with their decision-making process by reading through reviews.
Finally, How Can We Fix Disappearing Reviews?
Digital solutions are replacing traditional marketing techniques. They offer companies many new ways to engage with and entice potential customers.
However, organizations also need to be aware of the potential problems that may arise as they adopt new technology and take steps to mitigate the damage done when a shocking Google Business Profile review goes missing on your page.
It is recommended to monitor your business profile daily to spot any issues and ensure your information is accurate. If you notice any disappearing reviews or inaccuracies on your business profile, immediately report the problem to Google.