Google Reviews are a great way to get feedback from customers, but they’ve been unavailable for a while. When will they be back?
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Google Reviews: The Past, Present, and Future
It’s been a little over two months since Google shut down its consumer reviews platform, and many businesses are still wondering when Google reviews will be back. Google has said very little about the future of the program, but there are some clues hidden in its past behavior that can give us a glimpse of what might be to come.
Google has a long history of shutting down popular consumer products with little warning or explanation. In the past decade, the company has sunsetted Google Reader, Picasa, iGoogle, and a host of other services that were once beloved by users. In each case, Google first denied that the product was going away, then announced the shutdown with no prior notice, and finally offered scant explanation for why the product was being killed.
The same pattern appears to be playing out with Google Reviews. In early April 2018–just weeks before the shutdown–a Google representative told businesses that “there are currently no plans to retire the review function” and that “any changes made to review functionality would be communicated well in advance.” This assures us that Google knew about the impending shutdown at least a month before it happened, yet it chose not to inform business owners or give them any warning whatsoever.
This leaves us with two possibilities: either Google is planning to bring back reviews in some form, or it isn’t. If we look at the history of other Google products that have been shuttered, it seems more likely than not that reviews will make a comeback–albeit in a different form than they exist today. The question then becomes one of when?
It’s impossible to say for sure when Google reviews will be back, but based on past patterns we can make an educated guess. It typically takes Google several months–if not longer–to bring back a product after shutting it down. So while it’s possible that we could see some form of reviews return later this year, it’s more likely that they won’t make a reappearance until 2019–or even later.
The History of Google Reviews
Google Reviews began in 2008, allowing anyone with a Google account to write a review for any business with a listing on Google Maps. In 2014, they made some changes to the way reviews worked, and in 2017 they did away with Google Reviews entirely, replaced by a system called “Google Local Guides.”
The Google Reviews Controversy
Google reviews are a vital part of many businesses’ online presence, providing potential customers with an insight into the quality of the products or services on offer. However, the system has been embroiled in controversy recently, with accusations of fake reviews and businesses gaming the system to boost their ratings. Google has responded by temporarily suspending new reviews from being posted, but has not given any indication of when the system will be back up and running. This has left many businesses in the dark about when they can expect to start receiving reviews again.
In the meantime, there are still a few ways to get customer feedback, such as social media platforms and third-party review websites. These can provide valuable insights into customer sentiment, even if they don’t have the same level of visibility as Google reviews.
The Pros and Cons of Google Reviews
Google reviews offer an easy way for customers to leave feedback about their experiences with businesses. They can also be a valuable source of information for potential customers who are looking for honest insights into a company.
However, Google reviews are not without their controversy. In recent years, there have been concerns about the accuracy and fairness of Google review scores. This has led to some businesses losing trust in the system and even calling for its abolition.
So, when will Google reviews be back? The answer is complicated. Google has made changes to the way reviews are displayed and how they are factored into business scores. However, it is still possible for customers to leave feedback about their experiences.
It is clear that Google is trying to address the concerns about review accuracy and fairness. However, it is not clear if or when the changes will be enough to restore trust in the system. Until then, businesses will just have to wait and see how Google’s latest attempts at improvement play out.
How Google Reviews Affect Local SEO
Google reviews are a vital part of local SEO. They help potential customers get an idea of what your business is like, and they can also help improve your ranking in search results.
Unfortunately, Google reviews have been temporarily disabled. Google has not given an official reason for this, but it is likely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Google is probably taking measures to prevent businesses from artificially inflating their ratings with fake reviews.
In the meantime, there are other things you can do to improve your local SEO. Make sure your business is listed in as many online directories as possible, and encourage customers to leave reviews on other platforms like Yelp or Facebook.
The Future of Google Reviews
Google My Business reviews were a key way for customers to share their opinions about local businesses. But what happens when they disappear?
It’s no secret that Google My Business (GMB) reviews play a major role in local SEO. For the most part, they’re the primary way customers interact with your business on Google — and they can have a significant impact on your click-through rate (CTR) and, ultimately, your bottom line.
Unfortunately, GMB reviews don’t last forever. In fact, they have a relatively short shelf life, typically between 3 and 12 months. After that, they start to become less visible in search results and may even be removed entirely.
So what does this mean for businesses that rely on GMB reviews to attract new customers?
For one thing, it means that you need to be proactive about getting new reviews on a regular basis. But it also means that you need to be prepared for the possibility that your reviews could disappear at any time.
The good news is that there are some things you can do to minimize the impact of disappearing reviews. And while there’s no guarantee that your reviews will always be there, following these tips will help increase the chances that they stick around for longer.
How to Get More Google Reviews
As a business owner, you know that online reviews are important. They not only improve your visibility in search engines, but they also give you social proof that can help you close more sales. That’s why it’s so frustrating when Google Reviews disappear.
If you’ve noticed that your Google Reviews have vanished, don’t panic. In most cases, they will be back within a few days. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting Google Reviews:
-Make it easy for customers to leave reviews. Add a link to your Google My Business page on your website and in your email signature. You can also include instructions on how to leave a review.
-Encourage customers to leave reviews. You can do this by offering discounts or coupons for those who leave a review, or simply by asking them to write a review when they’re happy with your product or service.
-Follow up with customers who leave negative reviews. Thank them for their feedback and see if there’s anything you can do to improve their experience. This shows other potential customers that you care about customer service and are willing to go the extra mile.
What to Do If You Can’t Get Google Reviews
If you’ve been trying to leave a Google review and haven’t been able to, you’re not alone. Many businesses have experienced difficulty getting reviews since Google’s algorithm update in December 2017. The good news is that there are still some ways to encourage customers to leave reviews, even if they don’t show up in search results.
Here are a few ideas:
-Make it easy for customers to find your business on Google by claiming your listing and keeping your information up to date.
-Encourage customers to leave reviews on other platforms like Yelp, Facebook, or TripAdvisor.
-Ask customers to leave reviews directly on your website.
-Monitor your Google My Business Insights page for insights into how customers are finding your business.
It’s also important to keep in mind that Google reviews are only one part of the puzzle. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – focus on delivering great customer service and encouraging reviews on all platforms.
How to Get 5-Star Google Reviews
It’s no secret that Google reviews are important. They’re one of the first things customers see when they search for your business, and they can make or break whether someone decides to do business with you.
So what do you do when your Google reviews disappear?
First, don’t panic. It’s not unusual for Google reviews to come and go. Google makes regular changes to its algorithms, and sometimes those changes can cause reviews to be temporarily hidden or removed.
If you notice that your reviews have disappeared, the first thing you should do is check to see if there are any newGoogle policies that might explain why. You can find a list of current policies here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/6073538?hl=en
If there are no new policies that explain the disappearance of your reviews, the next step is to reach out to Google directly. You can contact them through the Google My Business forum: https://support.google.com/business?hl=en#topic=4539633
Once you’ve done all of this, the best thing you can do is focus on getting more 5-star reviews. The more positive reviews you have, the less of an impact a few negative ones will have on your business.
How to Respond to Negative Google Reviews
It can be tough to deal with negative feedback, but it’s important to remember that not all Google reviews are going to be positive. In fact, it’s completely normal to see a mix of good and bad reviews. The key is to respond to all of your reviews, both positive and negative, in a way that is professional and helpful.
When it comes to responding to negative Google reviews, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, try to remain calm and avoid getting defensive. It’s also important to avoid sounding like you’re making excuses, even if you feel like the customer is in the wrong. Instead, focus on how you can make things right for the customer and express empathy for their experience.
It’s also a good idea to thank the customer for their feedback and let them know that you’re working on making improvements. If you can resolve the issue directly with the customer, be sure to do so privately outside of the review platform. This will show other potential customers that you’re committed to providing a great experience for everyone.