Google's Review Math Doesn't Add Up


Jim Froling

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Having trouble with the math, Google?

I have a client that has worked hard to procure reviews on Google. Though he lost a bunch during the "Purge" earlier this year, he was back up to 13 reviews, all 5 Stars!:D

Today, he called and mentioned that he was down to just 12. I hit his listing & sure enough, it says he has just 12 Reviews and a 4.8 rating (which used to be 5.0). Clicking to the reviews I counted 13. Can Google not add?

On a hunch, I opened a Incognito window, searched again, found him, clicked through to the reviews and sure enough, only 12 were now displayed. The now missing review? MINE! :(

Yeah, I posted a 5 Star review for him although he is a client. But I've used his services also and he is just as good as his other clients say he is.

OK, he's down to 12 reviews, but still all 5 Stars. So how does Google get a "average rating" of just 4.8? Was he penalized because they took down my review?:confused: Or can they not do simple division nor addition?

Who's (read: Google support forum) chain should I pull at Google to address this?
:confused:
 
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There have been review problems since the update last week.

What you experienced is common and tons are reporting the exact thing happened. We reported to Google and they are working on it. But review scores don't always add up. Jade from Google explains here. https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/business/7Um1vuNKVmg/Kqb-FG76SqwJ

Jade wrote: "Hey all -- as Jim notes above, the overall rating score is based on user ratings as well as a variety of other signals. So, the overall rating may not be the simple arithmetic mean of all the user ratings."

That's not to say you don't have some other issue, but in general counts are flaky and reviews disappear and come back. Wait til G finishes working on it and see if yours settle down.

Mike just posted about it too: Google Reviews – New Quirks | Understanding Google Places & Local Search
 
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I actually saw this same bad math yesterday on YouTube. An account said 13 videos but there was actually only 12. I can only guess that it is like buildings that skip the 13th floor for luck. :D

I also wonder if the missing review of Jim's might be because it was flagged. I seem to remember something about reviews appearing to be live only to the reviewer, but invisoble to everyone else, when the review is questionable in the eyes of Google. Possible?
 

Jim Froling

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Thanks for your reply Michael. Don't know why my reviews would be flagged necessarily. Could the fact that I'm a manager of his G+ Page have anything to do with it? Hmmm. :rolleyes: I posted the review (after taking lessons, so it's legit) back in the good ol' Places days.

I'm not trippin' on it, just found it interesting. However the rank going from 5.0 to 4.8 makes me feel like I've been slapped. Ow!:(
 
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I think the ratings count issue was fixed or is getting better at least.

Jim I left a review for my vet. Totally legit and I don't do any marketing or anything of the kinda at all for them. My review didn't show publicly. I asked Google to look into it and was told my review was filtered because it appears to the algo I'm an SEO. :eek: Yep!

It was done with my personal account but that's the one I use to post about local search and most that follow me are marketers and SEOs so the algo put me in the bad egg basket. :( But honestly I kinda of get it. There are tons of low end SEO types that do fake reviews.
 

Jim Froling

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I hear 'ya Linda. It's no secret that G has a dim view of SEO's in general. And, to a degree, justified by the many "Black Hat Cowboys" that plague our business.

Funny though as I just replied to an associate's email re: a Google smack down for a link spam violation (which wasn't "that" bad) and the recovery strategy which was impressive. (I'll post the article @ the forum).

I just told him to be ever so careful with any link strategy. That G has a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. Links, or righteous reviews, can be done under "best practices guidelines" as they exist today. Tomorrow, the policy shifts and G is holding a smoking .45 while a user (or SEO) has a new hole in their frontal lobe.:eek:
 

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