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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Massive Google Review Problems Continue - Support Replies

    The original consolidated review thread that Mike Blumenthal tried to focus everyone on at the Google Business forum back in the beginning of August, is still going strong.

    Here's my original post about it: Valiant Effort to Help Solve Google Review Problems

    Now 463 posts strong with no improvement so far. People just keep getting more and more upset!

    Following is one business owner's email chain with Google support about all his reviews problems. Posting in case it helps shed any light for anyone or reveals any patterns about why reviews are being deleted or blocked. Of course support does not say much and much of this is boilerplate.

    (Copied as is from the forum and it was not well formatted so added breaks to make it easier to see which is a support email and which is a user email. Anything noteworthy, bolded by me.)

    Reviews from my customers are not showing up on my Google Places listing

    None of the reviews by my customers are now being published, and haven't been for months. They do not contain spam or questionable content. The joke is that if I post exactly the same review myself, it IS published. I have emailed Google "support" with all my concerns and copies of the reviews for comment. They have been very unhelpful and just reply with standard response about "algorithms" for spam etc and say that some genuine reviews may be dropped, and will not comment or reply to my concerns. So I am going to post the email thread here to show what a farce this is. Someone should go to the press about this:

    ************************************************

    16/10/12

    Hi,

    A separate issue...

    I just wondered how long it takes for customer reviews to go live? I have at least 1 review written by a customer in last few days which hasn't yet been published. Are they manually authorized by google?

    ************************************************

    Further email 18/10/12

    Further to my previous email (unanswered) of 2 days ago...

    By the way the account that contains my Google places listing and reviews is xxx.

    Please advise re unpublished review/s

    ************************************************

    Google Reply 19/10/12

    Hi Andy,

    Thank you for letting us know about the missing review on your DriveCraft
    School of Motoring local Google+ page. While we can't guarantee that your
    review will be reinstated, your feedback helps us learn about the extent
    of this top concern.

    There are several reasons why reviews may appear to have been removed from
    your page. In particular:
    - Reviews from third-party websites are no longer incorporated into the
    review text on our pages.
    - Reviews considered to be spam or that are inappropriate will be removed.
    Learn more about our spam and content policy for reviews:
    Removals of Google Places reviews - Places for business Help
    - Reviews can sometimes be dropped from local Google+ pages during
    reconciliation of data issues. Unfortunately, we're unable to
    specifically address each instance of this, but we are working on
    long-term solutions to resolve most of these cases.


    Additionally, I took the step of removing the duplicate listing within
    your account as having multiple listings for the same business location is
    a violation of our guidelines.

    Thank you for your patience.

    Kind Regards,

    Sandy M.
    The Google Team

    ************************************************

    My reply 19/10/12

    Recently a review was posted to my google places page for my account xxx

    Please tell me what has happened to this review? It was a review from an individual who has stated it shows as awaiting authorisation. I do not have duplicate places listings anymore as this was sorted out recently.

    Please advise what had happened to this review? A generic response is unacceptable.

    ************************************************

    Google reply 22/10/12

    Hello,

    It appears that we have flagged and removed some reviews from your
    DriveCraft School of Motoring listing. We want people to get ratings,
    reviews, and recommendations that are relevant, helpful, and trustworthy.
    To protect both business owners and customers, we have systems in place
    that may remove individual reviews that include any of the following:
    inappropriate content, advertising and spam, off topic reviews, or
    conflict of interest.


    Sometimes our algorithms may flag and remove legitimate reviews in our
    effort to combat abuse. We know this is frustrating when it happens but
    believe that overall, these measures are helping to ensure that the
    reviews appearing on local Google+ page are authentic, relevant, and
    useful. Reviews that may have been removed will not be reinstated.

    While we currently do not offer phone support, please reply back to this
    email if you have any questions or concerns regarding this issue.

    Thank you for your understanding and patience.

    Kind Regards,

    Sandy M.
    The Google Team

    ************************************************

    My reply 22/10/12

    I'm afraid its unacceptable if you have removed a legitimate review by an automated process. My customer has stated that they wrote a review recently, which would have been attached to account xxx This has not shown up yet as was listed as pending review. It is wholly unacceptable if these perfectly genuine reviews are not published. I may even have lost others. How am I supposed to get these published.

    Please phone me on xxx to discuss this. I am not happy with the 2 standard responses I've received so far.

    ************************************************

    My further email 25/10/12

    Hello,

    I haven't had a reply to my recent email concerning missing reviews.

    Please note, I have also had another review submitted by a customer today - she says it is showing up with the other reviews, however, I can't see it.

    Please note, the following is the link I am sending to customers to submit reviews

    DriveCraft School of Motoring - About - Google+

    The actual account that the Places listing is under is xxx (i can't email directly from there).

    Please can you clarify what is happening with these reviews as they appear not to be being published. Please phone me on xxx

    Please do not send a standard response saying reviews may have been removed by a standard algorithm - this is the 2nd review that a customer has posted and is still not showing up. This is affecting my business and my search listing.

    ************************************************

    Reply from Google 25/10/12 (Saying reviews are working!)

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for sharing your concerns. Please note that we cannot change our algorithms, however, we do understand that dropping reviews can be frustrating. We hope to display your future reviews left by your customers on your listing. For the meantime, I can confirm that your 'write a review' feature is working appropriately.

    ************************************************

    My reply 25/10/12

    Thanks. A review was written today by a customer. Can you confirm if this has gone live?

    ************************************************

    Google reply 26/10/12

    Hello,

    It appears that we have marked this review as spam. I apologize for the inconvenience.

    Kind Regards,

    Sandy M.
    The Google Team

    ************************************************

    My reply 26/10/12

    Firstly, why was it marked as spam? There is nothing contentious there.

    Secondly, will it be reinstated?

    Thirdly, how can I ensure that further reviews are not marked as spam?.

    All reviews posted are legitimate customers with google accounts, so I don't understand the logic here. It seems to be a lottery whether a review is published or not.

    Please advise what needs to be done to sort this out.

    ************************************************

    Google reply 29/10/12

    Hello,

    As I previously stated, please note that we cannot influence our algorithms, as such, we cannot determine if your future reviews will be marked as spam. However, previously flagged listing will not cause any problems for future reviews. We hope to display your clients' reviews in the future.

    Thank you for your patience.

    Kind Regards,

    Sandy M.
    The Google Team

    ************************************************

    My reply 29/10/12

    Yes, but if I get my customers to resubmit the reviews which have previously marked as spam, what will happen? If nothing has changed,surely they will just be marked as spam?

    You don't appear to be responding to my concern about why these reviews are marked as spam?

    I am attaching a copy of the most recent review apparently marked as spam. Can you comment as to why this was rejected please? There is no point asking customers to re-submit if the same thing will happen again.

    Regards

    Further email from me 30/10/12

    A further review has been re-posted today & is still not showing up. See the following; your review system isn't working,what are you going to do about it?

    " I'm not sure you could find a more thoughtful, friendly or understanding driving instructor than Andy. He has so much patience and will always ask for your thoughts and listen to your concerns and ideas, so that your skills develop and you grow as a driver quickly and in the way that is best for you. He has an amazing talent for acknowledging mistakes and fixing them whilst highlighting the things you've done well, and boosting your confidence and motivation by reminding you that you're doing great - I always leave a lesson feeling positive and that I have learned a lot. I'd wholeheartedly recommend DriveCraft to any learning drivers, regardless of their ability. "

    ************************************************

    Google reply 31/10/12

    Hello,

    If your customers continue to resubmit the same reviews that were marked as spam, they will not appear on your listing. To protect both business owners and customers, we have systems in place that may remove individual reviews that include any of the following: inappropriate content, advertising and spam, off topic reviews, or conflict of interest.

    Sometimes our algorithms may flag and remove legitimate reviews in our effort to combat abuse. We know this is frustrating when it happens but believe that overall, these measures are helping to ensure that the reviews appearing on local Google+ page are authentic, relevant, and useful. Reviews that may have been removed will not be reinstated.

    Thank you for your patience.

    Best Regards,

    Sandy M.
    The Google Team

    ************************************************

    My reply 31/10/12

    Hello,

    Well, whatever they do it is not working. Whether a new or re-posted review! If you could kindly point out what is considered "spam" in the text of the 2 reviews I sent to you in previous emails, then perhaps that would be more helpful than continually re-iterating your standard response.

    You will be aware that I am not the only person unhappy with Google's non functioning review system. This is evident from the several hundred people with similar complaints on your forums.

    It appears that you are unwilling to investigate my case properly or advise what is wrong in the text of the last 2 reviews posted,which I have sent you via email.

    I'm not quite sure what sort of help you think you are offering but this is so unacceptable. Previously I have paid for AdWords but I will no longer do so. I also support Google through Android.

    Do you realise the distress you are causing local businesses with this non functioning review system.

    ************************************************

    Google reply 2/11/12

    Hello,

    I've looked at your questions and determined that your listing problems are resolved. I'm here to help with your listing problems; other questions related to search ranking, policy issues, and best practices can be discussed in our forums, in addition to being addressed in our Help Center.

    Please do check out the forum, where you can discuss questions like yours with other business owners as well as product experts and top contributors: Google Groups

    Best Regards,

    Sandy M.
    The Google Team

    ************************************************

    My last email 3/11/12

    Hello,

    You may well have solved the Google Places listing problem. This was an issue raised several months ago. It only became an issue because Google messed about with the listing.

    However, you have in no way resolved the issues with the Review system, which is not working at all. You haven't answered any of my questions or provided solutions.

    Yes, I have taken to the forum where you will also find hundreds of others complaining about the same problem. If Google choose to ignore this problem then what does that say about Google?

    I hope you feel pleased and proud of the level of customer service you have provided.

    ************************************************

    Since then my customer has again tried to submit review and showing as accepted her side, but not published. If I publish the same text myself, it is published OK.

    This is a disgrace, What are Google doing about it?
    I thought maybe in that long email string there would be some new info or something maybe helpful. But the only thing noteworthy I picked up on was this: "we cannot determine if your future reviews will be marked as spam. However, previously flagged listing will not cause any problems for future reviews."

    It appears to me and others that once a listing is black marked, all new reviews are blocked from showing. But in this case at least, it sounds like Sandy is saying that does not happen.

    Anyone here seeing any changes or making any headway on the review front?
    Do the review spam filters seem to be getting any better, staying the same or worse?
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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  3. #2
    Member Since
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    Re: Massive Google Review Problems Continue - Support Replies

    Well I have many of my clients that are putting a great effort on getting legit reviews(auto industry) They are complaining that the reviews are up there for a day or so and then they are gone. I have had a couple of clients that have just been fed-up with the process and are abandoning the whole review strategy and others that are just going to be focusing on Yelp and other sites. Not good at all.

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