Missing Google Reviews After Helpful Content Update

Several users have been facing a paramount drop in their Google reviews since Google’s Helpful Content Update was released. This has left users with incredible frustration when trying to remove reviews from unknown sources and even more aggravation when trying to reinstate reviews from credible sources.

Joy Hawkins, Google My Business Product Expert and owner of Sterling Sky, has shared the following in regards to missing Google reviews:

“A huge majority of the time reviews get filtered due to issues with the IP address of the person who left you the review. Here are some things that cause reviews to be filtered:

  • Your customers share an IP address with someone who already left you a review.
  • Your business offers WiFi that customers connect to and you’ve logged into your Google My Business account from this WiFi.
  • The review contains a URL or phone number.
  • The review contains a word Google doesn’t like, such as profanity or racial terms.
  • You hired an SEO company to post reviews for you.
  • You have an onsite review station (iPad, computer, etc) at your location.
  • The user who left the review is nowhere near you or has never visited your location.

If none of those reasons apply, Google simply doesn’t have enough information about the user or they think the review violates their guidelines.  They don’t always make it super clear as to why reviews get filtered.”

Check out this helpful video from Google Business Profile to understand more:

How To See Missing Google Reviews

There are several methods to observe deleted Google reviews:

  • Google My Business App: Open the Google My Business app and select your business. Navigate to the “Reviews” tab, where you’ll find a list of all reviews, positive and negative. If a review has been deleted, it will be marked with the message, “This review has been removed.”
  • Google Maps App: Launch the Google Maps app and search for your business. Access the “Reviews” tab to view all reviews, including both positive and negative ones. Deleted reviews will be indicated with the message, “This review has been removed.”
  • Google Search Console: Log in to the Google Search Console using your Google account. Click on the “Search Traffic” tab and select “Reviews.” This section displays all reviews for your business, and deleted reviews will be labeled with, “This review has been removed.”

Additionally, for a comprehensive overview, you can consider using third-party services like ReviewTrackers or BrightLocal. These services specialize in monitoring online reviews for businesses, offering insights into the online sentiments surrounding your business.

Ensuring Your Google Business Profile Is Optimized For Reviews

In order to make sure your reviews stick, make sure that your Google Business Profile is fully optimized. Ensure the accuracy of your Google listing by regularly updating essential information such as business hours, address, phone number, website, and other pertinent details for a comprehensive and reliable representation. Foster a diverse online presence by encouraging customers to share their experiences on various platforms like Yelp, Facebook, or TripAdvisor. While Google reviews may be temporarily missing, maintaining visibility on other platforms enhances your business’s credibility. Demonstrate proactive engagement by responding thoughtfully to any negative reviews. Addressing customer concerns illustrates your commitment to their satisfaction and showcases your responsiveness to feedback. Stay vigilant in monitoring your Google listing and promptly adapt to any changes. Given Google’s dynamic nature, keeping abreast of the latest updates is crucial to sustaining a robust online presence.

In navigating these shifts from Google, remember that your business remains intact. Consider these strategies as an opportunity to showcase your resilience and dedication to providing an exceptional customer experience. Google is focused largely on E-E-A-T, which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. E-E-A-T constitutes a crucial component of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines. This handbook is employed by actual individuals tasked with assessing the quality of search results.

Reinstating Reviews

If you are missing reviews or they aren’t posting you can take the following steps to try and reinstate them:

  1. Contact support at https://support.google.com/business/gethelp
  2. Select your business in the drop-down.
  3. Type ‘Missing Review’ in the Tell us What we can help with field
  4. Choose Review Missing under the best description of this issue:
  5. Select Next Step (twice)
  6. Fill in all required fields on the next form fill.
  7. Please note that if you select Yes on “Does the profile belong to an elementary, secondary, or high school? then you are not eligible to generate new reviews on your profile. Google has
  8. disabled reviews for educational institutions.
  9. Keep in mind that the reviewer’s name does not match your customer’s name most of the time. You need the actual Google account reviewer name.
  10. Images of the review are no longer required to upload but are recommended if you are an agency representing the business.

Cases are usually assessed by Google within 7 to 10 business days. Attaching screenshots of reviews can also help with reinstating reviews.