Why Are My Practice's Google Reviews Disappearing
By Practice Growth June 10, 2021
For an eye care practice owner or any medical or professional practice owner for that matter, it's an incredible feeling receiving a notification that a patient or client was impressed by their services. And now the satisfied patient has left a big, juicy 5-star review on your practice’s Google My Business page!
Did your practice recently receive a fantastic review, only to find out it’s vanished a few days later? No doubt, it’s a bummer when you check your practice’s Google business page, only to see that a comprehensive 5-star review has disappeared – but the real question is, where did it go?
If you've been unsuccessful in securing reviews from your patients, your team should make it a priority to ask patients to leave a review on the practice's Google My Business page.
So you don’t feel alone, why not do a Google search for "missing Google reviews." A quick search will show you’re dealing with a common problem. In case you’re wondering, “Why did my practice’s Google My Business reviews vanish?", the most common answer is that Google algorithm has mistakenly flagged the review. Google removed the review.
9 Reasons Why Your Practice’s Google Reviews are Missing
Even though Google doesn’t provide a detailed explanation about its spam detection algorithm, we can glean information from the Google review content guidelines. Google removes reviews that “violate” these guidelines.
If your practice's Google review has been deleted, let’s review some of the most common reasons for a missing review:
1. Did the review contain a URL?
If the review contains a URL, Google will probably flag it as spam and remove it in a few days. Make a point to ask your patients not to add any links to their review. You might just save yourself the hassle of getting flagged. If they agree to do a review in the office and you know they’ve had exceptional service, this might be the time for the big ask. Go ahead and ask for a patient testimonial video for the website, social media, and your email marketing.
2. Did the review contain a contact number?
There’s no need to insert a contact number in a review. However, if a review does have a phone number, it will most likely trigger Google’s spam detection algorithm and get flagged.
3. Have you received reviews on platforms other than Google My Business?
If your practice has ample testimonials on Google Business Page, but none on Facebook, Yelp, etc., this can get the review deleted. In simple words, it’s not considered spontaneous or normal if patients leave feedback on only one platform. Over the years, this has proven to be an excellent method of detecting spam for Google. To ensure this doesn’t happen, we should provide a bullet-pointed list of things not to include in the review.
4. Is there a similar review on a different website?
If there's a similar review on Yelp or Facebook, the potential duplicate Google review of your practice could get removed by Google. Isn't it fantastic when patients and customers appreciate your services so much that they can't help share their positive experiences with the world? And unfortunately, this is where we have some risk – until and unless the patient writes a unique review, the review might end up in a Google graveyard.
5. Did your Google+ page account manager write a review?
If the reviewer is the manager of your practice's Google+ page, it would be termed as a "conflict of interest." Usually, the manager of the practice's Google My Business isn't a client and is probably either a service provider or an employee. Only patients and customers are allowed to post reviews.
6. Did your employee leave a review?
Again, as stated above, an employee leaving positive feedback for their employer is a conflict of interest – doesn’t matter whether the employee actually used the services or not. The practice of an employee giving feedback to their employers is highly discouraged.
7. Has the reviewer completed their Google account profile?
There are things not in your control. If reviewers are writing from profiles that don't have a photo, name, or other important info, the review could take a hit. It could be classified as a fake profile. If a practice receives multiple reviews from blank accounts, the Google sketchy meter goes off the charts. Google interprets the review as most likely paid, fake, or created by bots.
8. Has the reviewer deleted their Google account?
There's no way a user could leave a review on Google My Business without having a legit Google account. If the reviewer has deactivated or deleted their account, all the reviews given from that account are removed. This is one of the most common reasons why many practice owners find their Google reviews missing.
9. Was the review written as per Google guidelines?
A user can only post a review about something they have personally experienced. No one could write a review to describe the experience of their friend or a relative. This is why a reviewer has to always write in first-person. If the review is written in third-person, it violates Google’s terms and gets removed.
Ultimately, don't stress too much if some Google reviews of your practice go missing. Concentrate on running your practice efficiently, offer top-tier services, and ask your satisfied clients to leave their positive feedback. It's recommended to keep an eye on your reviews, back them up, and then conduct an audit whenever reviews disappear. But don't waste too precious energy obsessing about it. Just go out there and get another amazing review to replace the one that's missing. It shouldn't be a big deal – you're amazing at what you do! Keep it up.