Google Reviews – a cautionary tale

You may know that I bang on about Google Reviews like there’s no tomorrow. For a service-based business, there are very few tools that build trust and create opportunities like Google Reviews do.

So it was puzzling and frustrating when a client of mine recently discovered that Google had removed nine of their 100% authentic, high-quality, hard-earned, happy client reviews from their Google My Business profile.

The reason?

These same reviews were listed on other publicly-available review sites including AdviserRatings, and the reviews section of their Facebook page. It seems Google want 100% original reviews on their platform and are willing to take no prisoners in making this so. Despite discussing this issue with Google at length, I’ve concluded that no amount of logical debate or discussion with them will ever bring these reviews back. When they remove a review, it’s gone forever.

What this means for you:

  • Be careful if you’re asking clients to copy a previous review or testimonial and paste it as a Google Review. If those words are available anywhere online, Google probably knows and will take your Google Review down.
  • Unless you think your clients are happy to leave you different reviews on different platforms, you need to pick your platform of choice now. I would suggest this should be Google reviews for a range of reasons (if this ever changes, I’ll let you know).
  • It shouldn’t be an issue re-sharing your Google Reviews on your own website or blog but to play it safe, I suggest using a website plugin that pulls the reviews straight from Google rather than manually adding these onto the site yourself.
  • Given Google has the same passion for logical negotiation as a military dictatorship, I would recommend backing up your Google reviews regularly (i.e. something as simple as copying and pasting new ones into a spreadsheet). This means that if you ever lose reviews, at least you have the words to repurpose as Social Media content or Sales/Marketing collateral.

If you have any questions on this or anything Google Reviews related, I’m always happy to help.