It’s more and more common for businesses listed on Google to complain about reviews not being published when customers post them. Joy Hawkins wrote an article that could explain why this happens.

One of two things is happening: Either Google has removed them manually because they don’t follow the guidelines (not likely), or Google’s automated filter catches and removes them. The latter is more likely because Google’s filter looks for patterns that point towards unnatural reviews.

Google’s review filter is getting stricter. This could well explain the trend. Google has the highest average percentage of inauthentic reviews across business categories at 10.7%, higher than Yelp (7.1%), Tripadvisor (5.2%), and Facebook (4.9%).

There are 3 common reasons Google filters a review, according to Joy.

  • Your business offers free WiFi to guests. That’s because the business IP and the guest IP will likely be the same. But it does happen even if you connect sometimes and leave the review from another IP. Google likely detects many reviews from the same area/IP and assumes it’s likely spam, even if it’s not.
  • Reviewers have not traveled to that location. Google knows where you’ve been. If you review a business you haven’t visited, they will likely filter out the review.
  • You are in the Education of School category. Yep, reviews and photos for schools are not allowed in countries like the US and the UK anymore by Google.

Trying to solve it: You can post on the Google Business Profile forum. Joy’s advice is to make sure you include details such as the exact number of reviews missing, when they were first posted, peoples’ names, and screenshots from the customer leaving these reviews.

Reprinted from Stacked Marketer January 11, 2022 edition.