Most Relevant Reviews - Length of Review matters?


Mar 8, 2019
On our listing we have a 1 star review that is coming up first under the "Most Relevant" setting for the past month or so, even though there are many new 4 and 5 star reviews that have come afterwards.
The thing is - that negative review has about 500 words (sheesh!).
Could it be that the length of the review is the reason Google is considering it to be "most relevant"?
How do we get it pushed down?

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Jul 26, 2012
@razorclicks, I suppose that's possible. But I'd wager the "relevance" has to do more with the search terms, adjectives (e.g. "cheap"), and other crunchy bits of detail. A long review tends to have more of those than does a short review.

It seems also to depend on the search term you used to pull up the GMB page. Is the bad review always the most "relevant" of the bunch, regardless of what term you typed in? One factor is a negative reviewer is a little more likely to mention the company by name, at least in my experience. If that review is at the top of the pile for a brand-name search, that may be why.

Cherie Dickey

Local Search Expert
Jan 30, 2018
What Phil said. I'm also curious as to whether or not anyone marked the review as helpful. I've never tracked this personally, but it makes sense to me that reviews marked as helpful by other users would be considered more authoritative than the newer ones.

Another thing I would look at is how much the negative reviewer has contributed reviews, ratings, photos, etc to other businesses vs other reviewers who are leaving more positive reviews.
May 3, 2018
Interesting ideas @Cherie Dickey! It definitely makes sense that reviews marked as helpful would carry a little more weight.

I totally agree with @Phil Rozek. A longer review likely contains more content for Google to parse. To understand how Google uses review content (and thus why a long review is likely to have more impact) this post by Mike Blumenthal (who else?!) is a must read: How Google Uses Reviews To Understand A Business - GatherUp

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