In an era marked by the ever-growing importance of online reputation, Google has unveiled a groundbreaking feature aimed at helping businesses recover reviews that mysteriously vanished from their profiles.
Since early 2022, businesses, both large and small, have grappled with the sudden disappearance of genuine customer feedback from their Google Business Profiles (GBPs). When these business owners reached out to Google’s support channels, they were often met with explanations citing violations of Google’s policies, such as inappropriate content, promotional material, abusive language, off-topic comments, or potential conflicts of interest. Naturally, this left many with unanswered questions.
However, an exciting development has arrived: Google has introduced a form that empowers businesses to engage directly with their support, helping with the recovery of their lost reviews.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to retrieve your lost reviews:
- Access Google Support:
Begin by visiting the Google support page at https://support.google.com/business/gethelp
- Select Your Business:
Log in as the business owner and select your business from the drop-down menu. Local Guides and regular Map users also have the option to report missing reviews.
- Specify the Issue:
In the “Tell us what we can help with” field, type “missing review” and click “next.”
Note: If you indicate “Yes” to “Does the profile belong to an elementary, secondary, or high school?” your ability to generate new reviews will be disabled, as reviews for educational institutions are currently disabled in the US and the UK.
4. Click next to Step 3 where you will be asked about you and your business details
- Act Swiftly:
If your listing has been disabled and then reinstated, remember that you only have a few weeks to request the restoration of your reviews before they are permanently lost.
- Get the reviewer’s details and describe the issue
Sometimes, a review might get filtered out after an email is sent to the business. If the business has a copy of the review, this is the simplest way to ensure the accuracy of the reviewer’s username. If not, the business needs to contact the original reviewer directly.
- If Google has filtered a review as spam, it won’t be visible on the Business Profile, but it remains accessible on the user’s profile. To obtain a copy of the review, instruct the reviewer to capture a screenshot:
- Open the Google Maps App on their phone.
- Click the “Contribute” button at the bottom.
- Then click the “View your profile” link.
- Scroll down to find all the reviews they’ve submitted. Capture a screenshot and send it.
Please note that the reviewer’s name may not always match the customer’s name. Having the actual Google account reviewer name is crucial for your request to be accepted.
- Understanding Timelines
The new form is a recent addition, and the exact processing time is uncertain. However, Google typically evaluates cases within 7 to 10 business days.
- Possible Rejection:
You might receive a rejection email initially. In such cases, don’t panic. Respond with screenshots of the reviews, and this often leads to an internal escalation and a more thorough review, significantly improving your chances of recovery.
- Final Resolution:
If your issue remains unresolved after 10 days, consider heading to the Google Business Profile (GBP) forum. Create a new thread and provide a Product Expert with the following information for a final human review:
- The case ID that was provided by Google when you submitted the form.
- Your business name.
- Your business Google Maps URL.
- Image(s) of the review(s) obtained from the reviewer(s) (essential for validating the username).
Google reviews hold immense value for businesses, whether they are well-established or just starting out. Positive reviews can substantially enhance your search engine optimization (SEO), present potential customers with positive experiences, and instil trust in your business.
Are you ready to enhance your marketing strategies or need help? Feel free to reach out to us today!