Penalty for too many Google+ Local Reviews?

Jan 22, 2015
We recently took on a local client who did not have a current 'My Business' account with Google. Therefore, I made one for him from scratch.

I asked him if he could filter through his emails and see if any of his past customers used a Gmail account. I then asked if he could get in touch with them to see if they would give a honest review about his service on the new My Business page.

When I checked back, a week later, 5 legitimate reviews had been posted from past customers.

I was pleasantly surprised that he managed to get that many in a short period of time. However, I am a bit worried that if we get another 5-6 in the next week or so, this may flag some kind of spam filter with Google, even though these reviews are from legitimate customers.

Let me know your thoughts :confused:


Apr 16, 2014
We do warn our clients to make sure they don't get too many reviews all at once. This hasn't ever been a problem though, as getting reviews is difficult and there's rarely a huge wave of them that come in!

Recently a gym with multiple locations has been really encouraging reviews from customers (good and bad). They're getting 2-3 a day at 5+ locations on weekends! We have seen a net decline in MAP ranking, but since they started this just after Christmas its very difficult to say whether this is pigeon or review related-- We're guessing pigeon as the listings that have replaced them reak like pigeon poop :mad: .

I'd keep an eye out to make sure the reviews are actually showing up (If you know the names of some reviewers, they will see the review from their account but not on the business page if they're signed out). If they stop showing up, then they might have been flagged-- but there's better ways for Google to know which reviews are real/fake then "quantity" (like IP address, age of the account, relationships within circles, device it's being reviewed from, any account that mentions they work as an SEO, or accounts that only have done 1 review ever).

Here's a good "review guide" with some good ideas: The Complete Guide to Google+Local Reviews - and Especially How to Get Them |

Linda Buquet

Jun 28, 2012
Excellent answer Kate!

At that volume I would not worry too much Jonathan.

Google really likes reviews that trickle in naturally though. So now that they did their big push to all Gmail accounts and have enough reviews to get their stars, I would help them set up a system to do a follow up email right after time of service, asking for a review and offering a choice of 3 different review sites. Both for the ease for the customer and also because 3rd party reviews count too. I'm sure Phil's post goes into more detail.
Jan 22, 2015
Hi Kate & Linda,

Thanks for the quick replies,

You have put my mind a ease :)

Just going to read through Phil's post now!
Sep 18, 2012
Late to the party but we work to get the reviews on different platforms rather than just GMB as part of a long-term strategy.

I haven't seen too much of a problem with any platform except when the user is really, really new with few social signals--and then there is always the odd ball.

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