After all the hard work you put in to get online reviews, nobody should be in a position where they can’t see all of their Google reviews. While it can be disappointing, what you need is to find out the underlying problem and rectify it at the earliest opportunity. If you’ve ever wondered ‘why can’t I see my Google reviews?,’ read on.
As a small business, you need to make the most of Google reviews to increase brand awareness and influence customers. The last thing you want to say is “I can’t see my Google reviews.”
If you don’t have access to the reviews, you’ll be in an undesirable situation where you won’t know what your customers are saying about you. And nobody wants that!
To make it easy for independent businesses, here are the usual reasons why you’re not able to see your Google reviews and what you can do about them. These can be divided into Google My Business (GMB) listing problems or those associated with the content itself.
An accurate listing of all general business information is necessary for several reasons. To begin with, it helps you claim your business. Secondly, it makes it easier for customers to find and review you on Google reviews.
If you can’t see your reviews, the first thing you should do is to check your information. Make sure that your address, contact details, phone number and working hours are accurate. Even a minor error in your street address can cause problems.
When the location is inaccurate, there could be a double listing of your business. In that case, your reviews may be displayed at the other address. You can easily find this by searching for your business on Google Maps.
If there’s a duplicate listing, you can remove it from Google Maps or from the GMB dashboard.
Usually, when a business changes its location, assuming it keeps its name and other details intact, Google would transfer the listing to the new address. This way businesses such as salons, pet shops or office supply services can easily change their location and keep their old reviews.
But if a business is specifically tied to a place, Google won’t transfer the GMB listing. This applies to hotels, golf courses, landmarks etc. In such cases, you can report it.
If you aren’t active on GMB for a long time, it will affect your verification status. By inactive, Google means not being active with updates, photos, posts or when you don’t respond to reviews.
When you lose your verification, customers won’t be able to find you on Maps or Search. This means they won't be able to review you. But the good news is that before Google changes your business status to unverified, they would send you an email to check.
If you’re a newcomer to GMB and Google reviews, you should know that reviews are unlikely to start pouring in from day one. Even if your new restaurant or veterinary service has got off to a great start, it may take time for reviews to show.
You need a minimum of five reviews for Google to start showing them. If you’re starting out, know that this will take time, so perhaps consider an incentive for customers who leave a Google review.
Google may decide to disable during certain extraordinary circumstances. For example, when the pandemic hit, they disabled reviews due to a shortage of manpower. Customers couldn’t leave reviews and businesses couldn’t respond during that period of uncertainty. Thankfully, these ‘extraordinary circumstances’ are very rare!
Sometimes, the search giant may have problems of its own. For whatever reasons, their functionalities may be temporarily down. This is true for most digital platforms and can’t be completely avoided or predicted.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be asking for reviews. In all likelihood, these would be temporary problems. You should be reaching out via email or SMS and requesting your customers to leave reviews once the service is up and running.
Google doesn’t like spammers leaving reviews. If they sense that the reviews are not genuine or that they are paid for, they may delete those. This is one more reason why you shouldn’t encourage spam reviews of your business.
It may look good in the extremely short term but soon other customers and the search engine will notice it. Here’s some one word advice: don’t.
If a Google user or the business believes that a review is inappropriate, malicious, defamatory or insulting, they can flag the review. The review will disappear while Google looks into the complaint.
Google also has the habit of getting rid of reviews that contain URLs or links. As a small business owner, you could remind your customers not to do it while requesting reviews. If someone has left a highly favourable review with a link, you could request for them to edit it to remove the link.
Although it used to, the platform now doesn’t encourage anyone to post data from other review sites including Facebook and Yelp. In certain cases, Google will still show those but it’s usually the algorithm doing its work.
Maybe the reviewer deleted their review and that’s why it’s not showing. Probably it was too harsh or favourable and they’re having second thoughts. Or they accidentally did it. Either way, it is completely up to the reviewer whether they post a review or not, so try not to worry too much about where it’s gone, as you likely can’t change the result.
While you might not be able to see your Google reviews for any of these reasons, the overall aim should always be to get more reviews. You should actively manage your GMB and respond to your Google reviews. That’s how you can make your small business appealing to both existing and new customers.
Based on the best practices of several high-performing businesses, here are some proven suggestions on how to get more reviews on Google.