Baffled by my Google Reviews :(


Shazza

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Hi Everyone,

I am baffled by my Google Reviews. I am listing the issues seperately, if you could please help me with the individual issues that would help. Thanks everyone :)

1. I have 12 Reviews but Google shows my listing as having 4 reviews?

2. Few weeks ago I had 16 reviews but now I have 12.

3. Why the negative reviews always show at the top despite clicking sort by latest reviews. Even if I click sort by latest reviews, the latest reviews still show somewhere at the bottom?




The url in question is https://plus.google.com/102393786047186702739/about
 
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Click more under reviews. You have 14 now, the count is just wrong at the top. It's a bug due to an update. Google is aware and working on it.
 
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Linda:

What about the sorting issue? When I go to that page and sort the reviews by "Latest" the results are all scrambled. The latest reviews (i.e. the most current) are buried in the middle of the reviews. If I sort by "Latest," I would expect to see the most current review towards the top of the list. Is this also a bug?

@Shazza:

One of the reviews on your Google+ page says that you are providing a discount for leaving a review. That is a big no-no with Google, Yelp, and others. They don't like business owners soliciting reviews and they definitely don't like business owners providing incentives to leave reviews. You're playing with fire if you're doing this. If you're doing that, I would at least get rid of the incentive. If you're not doing that, you'll want to reply to that review and set the record straight that you don't provide discounts for leaving reviews.

Travis Van Slooten
 
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Linda:

What about the sorting issue? When I go to that page and sort the reviews by "Latest" the results are all scrambled. The latest reviews (i.e. the most current) are buried in the middle of the reviews. If I sort by "Latest," I would expect to see the most current review towards the top of the list. Is this also a bug?

@Shazza:

One of the reviews on your Google+ page says that you are providing a discount for leaving a review. That is a big no-no with Google, Yelp, and others. They don't like business owners soliciting reviews and they definitely don't like business owners providing incentives to leave reviews. You're playing with fire if you're doing this. If you're doing that, I would at least get rid of the incentive. If you're not doing that, you'll want to reply to that review and set the record straight that you don't provide discounts for leaving reviews.

Travis Van Slooten
Yes I'd didn't have time to reply to the part about review order but would have said things are just buggy with update, let's wait til it settles in.

And yes Travis is absolutely right. If you are incentivizing reviews that's one of the reasons your reviews could be filtered. You could even lose them all or new reviews could be blocked. Its a big violation.
 

Shazza

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Thanks for replying folks, it is all sinking in. At least if it is a bug then I can take a sigh of relief.
I understand regarding incentivising, and yes it is a big no no and we dont do it. One question though, I heard that google filter can filter out reviews if the reviewers have little google activity. How does that work then as most people generally dont have gmail accounts, most clients use work email or hotmail and yahoo. So if we ask them for a review and they create a google account for the purpose of leaving a review, is that wrong? Most importantly, is it worth their effort if the review is going to be filtered out? We could actually have lots more reviews if clients didnt find the creation of a google account a little cumbersome.

---------- Post Merged at 03:57 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 03:49 PM ----------

@Travis regarding replying to the Google Review, i thought about it, in fact with both the two reviews. it took me a while to even reply to the other one. I just felt that perhaps I would appear confrontational. I thought best to concentrate on getting the positive reviews because to be honest both clients were spiteful to the point of disbelief and I felt that I wouldnt get anywhere. I shall however reply to the other one if that helps.
 
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Well I always tell my clients to NEVER leave a negative review unanswered. You don't have to be confrontational nor do you have to leave a long detailed reply trying to convince visitors you were right and the customer was wrong. It can be tricky responding to overly detailed negative reviews but I think it's important to reply with *something.* Otherwise, people will just assume the negative review is accurate.

Travis

P.S. I also think it's a good idea for business owners to respond to every positive review as well. A simple, "thank you" goes a long way as it shows potential customers that you really care about your customers - and that you are truly interested in what your customers have to say.
 
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Travis is spot on. I have just a couple subtleties to add because, well, there's subtlety in human communication, and so too in reviews and review site policies ;)


Re: Responding to reviews -- I love Travis's comments on this. I see the OP has posted some review responses on Google, which I think are pretty good. Some are playing with fire, though!


I feel compelled to add: You'll want to tread very carefully if "trying to convince visitors you were right and the customer was wrong." Some experts would advise NEVER to refute the customer ("the customer is always right," yada yada). By and large, a simple apology and a promise to improve is a safer response, communicating care and accountability without risk of coming across as petty or confrontational. But I understand -- sometimes you have to call BS for what it is!

Re: "Soliciting" reviews -- To my knowledge, only Yelp explicitly discourages business owners from asking for reviews. Google has no such advisement but shuns true "conflicts of interest" such as incentives, employee reviewers, competitor reviewers, etc.


While Google does warn reviewers, "Don?t feel compelled to review a certain way just because an employee of that business asked you to do so," this by no means implies that a company can't or shouldn't ask customers to write honest reviews. Everyone (including Google) wins when more customers provide honest feedback via public channels.


More importantly, beyond Yelp, I am not aware of any review site that prohibits asking for reviews. This is important because (1) those second- and third-tier sites do matter, especially in aggregate, just see Phil Rozek's recent rundown; and (2) asking for reviews is often an effective way of getting them.
 

Ray Litvak

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Similar problem here, but a little different. Last week my client had 43 Google reviews. Now they have 39 reviews. I counted the reviews and sure enough there are only 39. Any ideas as to what happened to the missing 4?
Thanks in advance for your help.
-Ray
 
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Any ideas as to what happened to the missing 4?
No one could know or guess without seeing the missing reviews.

It's possible they got lost in the shuffle with the update and they'll come back. It's possible they were filtered for spam or some of them the user could have deleted or changed their settings.
 

Keenan Glass

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Just to be clear, Google does endorse the idea of asking for reviews (soliciting) but I give Travis a pass because I think his intention was focused on incentivizing users to leave reviews.

I think Yelp still filters the first review no matter what. It's always been the case that a user had to have a Google Account to leave a review, so that's not new. The requirement to have a G+ profile is new, but I don't consider it a huge burden considering the long-standing requirement above.

If I were writing an algorithm to filter reviews, a 5-star review left immediately after the creation of a brand new profile would be an easy target. I know others don't encourage users the creation of a G+ profile just to leave a review and I agree. I suggest my clients give their customers 3-4 options and let them choose what works best for them.

As far as the technical issues, I agree with Linda, it's all buggy.
 
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To add to Linda's and Keenan's points, it's worth remembering that review filtering by Google and Yelp (and probably others) is dynamic.

For example, a Google+ user may write a review that's published right away only to be filtered later due to that user's spammy behavior, inactivity or altered settings. Meanwhile, a Yelp reviewer's first review will almost certainly be filtered, but maybe only until that reviewer becomes an active Yelper, at which time her older reviews may become unfiltered--like my beer, but I digress...

In short, you can't rest on your review laurels--they might get filtered out of existence! You'll want to have a process in place for regularly asking and guiding customers through writing a review on any of several review sites--per Keenan's point--that matter to you, steering the customer to what's easy for them and most beneficial to you while avoiding common filter triggers. I and others on the forum have written extensively on such tactics here and elsewhere.

But yeah, bugs too!
 

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