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Technical issues with reviews? Read this first.

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Technical issues with reviews? Read this first. Jade W. 5/16/13 2:52 PM

We see a lot of questions about reviews on the forum. Before you make a new thread, please read through this post (even though it’s long!), because your question might be answered already.


1. Where did my reviews go?


You may have seen reviews disappear from your listing. A few reasons why that may be the case:


  1. Reviews from third-party websites are no longer displayed on local Google+ pages. Below the reviews by Google users, we may link “Reviews around the web” on third-party sites.

  2. Reviews are removed from Google+ Local if they exhibit spammy behavior. We can't share specifics about what signals we use, but our goal is to provide end-users with high-quality information they can trust and use that info to make informed decisions. (We can share -- reviews with URLs in them are automatically marked as spam. No URLs, please!) We also remove reviews that violate our content policy guidelines. We know that sometimes our algorithms may flag and remove legitimate reviews in our effort to combat abuse, but believe that overall, these measures are helping to ensure that the reviews appearing on local Google+ pages are authentic, relevant and useful. Here's our reviews posting guidelines and policy: http://goo.gl/LtFCS

- Please note that the Review content policy now states that business owners or employees should not review their own businesses. We also discourage review stations or kiosks set up at your business location that are solely for soliciting reviews.

  1. There are duplicates of the business's listing, and your reviews are living on one of these duplicates.

  2. You’ve moved locations. Note that we do not automatically move reviews for businesses moving locations.

  3. Keep in mind that some reviews may have been marked as private/removed by their author. When Google+ Local launched on May 31, 2012 reviewers were given the option to publish their reviews under their Google+ profiles or mark them as private. If they marked them as private, they won't show up on a business listing.

  4. Take a look at this Reviews Update post to learn more about why reviews might be showing or not showing.



2. How do I know which of the above reasons is affecting my listing?


There’s not much you can do to troubleshoot this — it requires a deeper dive into our system’s backend. In the case of #3, try searching for your business's exact name or address on maps.google.com to find duplicate listings.  


3. How do I get them back on my listing?


If you see your reviews on a duplicate listing, we can try to merge the duplicates back in to one listing. Please note that it can take several weeks to merge listings,Contact support using this form: Select There is a duplicate listing that I would like to have removed. — give the support team a few days to get back to you.


If users have deleted or marked their reviews as private, we have to respect that decision and there’s nothing we can do to show the reviews.


If reviews seem to be associated with the wrong page (for example, an old location for your business), you should contact us to request us to move them. Please first read our review move policy (here for old dashboard users, and here for new dashboard users) to determine if the reviews qualify to be moved. Then, you can contact us (here for new dashboard users, not yet available for old dashboard users) to request a review move.


4. Where are my owner responses?


Here’s the deal: old Google Places allows multiple people to own a listing. So you may have claimed your account, but someone else may have claimed it before you and is still considered an “owner” of the listing. The last person to have updated the listing is considered the main owner, and only responses from that account will appear live on the listing (so, if the other owner updates the account after you had left your response, your responses will be removed from the listing). Here’s something you can do to make sure you’re the most recent owner: Go into your Places account, click to Edit your listing, don’t touch anything, and hit “Submit.” That should ping our system, to let us know you’re the most recent owner. Give it a couple days, now try again to leave a response.


5. That review is clearly fake, written by an ex-employee, etc. — how can I get it removed from my listing?

There's no guarantee we will remove it, but you can report it by hovering on the review and clicking on the flag that appears.


6. Why are the reviews on my listing not related to my business?


Reviews can sometimes get reassociated to another, similarly related listing. If you’re seeing reviews on your listing that are not related to your business, please use this Help Center form to get in touch with our team, and we’ll work on getting it removed:


Link to form: http://support.google.com/places/bin/static.py?hl=en&ts=1386120&page=ts.cs

Select: Reviews > My page features false or inappropriate reviews, hit Submit, and await an e-mail response from a member of our support team.


7. One of the links in “Reviews from around the web” is wrong — it’s going to a page of reviews about an unrelated business. How do I get rid of it?


Those links are generated algorithmically, and sometimes we get it wrong. If you see an incorrect link, please use our Help Center troubleshooter to get in touch with our team, and we’ll work on getting it removed (note: it takes several weeks to fix):


Link to form: http://support.google.com/places/bin/static.py?hl=en&ts=1386120&page=ts.cs

Select: Reviews > My page features false or inappropriate reviews > Fill out the form, hit Submit, and await an e-mail response from a member of our support team.


8. Why can’t my customer leave a review?


Say your customer tells you that they’ve gone to your listing, but were unable to submit a review. It’s very difficult for us to troubleshoot and investigate secondhand reports. Ask them if they’ve created a Google+ account (they should get a prompt when they go to leave the review). Ask them to try posting a response in a different browser. Ask them to wait a few minutes and try again. Please note that the only way to leave a review on mobile is via Google Maps for Android, Google+ for Android, or Google+ Local for iOS.


9. How can I report inappropriate/spammy reviews?


Hover over the review in question and click on the light gray flag icon to tell us you think it’s inappropriate/spam, and we’ll look into it. If you’re seeing a large network of spam, too many for you to individually mark each one, start a new thread in the forum. We’re looking out for those reports and investigating.


10. I’ve reported a review on my listing, but it’s still there. Why won’t you remove it?


Note that we very rarely remove reviews. You can read our removal guidelines here.


11. But none of these questions address the issue I’m experiencing?


The information above addresses almost all the issues you can experience with reviews on your listing. But we know that sometimes, new bugs can crop up. So if none of the information above applies to you, start a new thread here in the Business forum and we’ll investigate.