November 18, 2020

Google Review Not Showing Up? Here Are 12 Reasons Why

an image of an online review rating

Is your Google review not showing up? Chances are that your Google My Business (GMB) listing isn’t the only one that suffers from this issue. Fortunately, we managed to find some solutions that could explain disappearing Google reviews in two main categories: issues with your GMB listing or problems with the formatting of the review.

Ensuring that your Google reviews show up correctly is vital to the success of your online reputation. Customer reviews data shows that Google holds 57.5% of all reviews and 63.6% of consumers will check on Google reviews before they visit a business. In other words, Google is the first and only stop for people to see if a brand is worth the time and money. Making sure that you have as many reviews on your GMB listing can be the social proof people need to make an informed purchase decision.

a drawing of a list of online reviews


Google My Business Listing Issues

A Google review not showing up could be due to changes or issues with a GMB listing. In some cases, you can make the necessary changes yourself to remedy the situation. However, there are some scenarios where reviews don’t appear because of internal changes within the GMB platform.

Google (Temporarily) Disabled Reviews

A recent example of an internal is Google disabling reviews during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company was working with a limited team, which means that all listings experienced disabled Google reviews.

From a customer standpoint, this means that they couldn’t write and publish new reviews and businesses couldn’t respond to any review on their GMB listing. Reviews posted before Google temporarily turned off publishing would still show up on the listing.

However, full review functionality returned as of May 27, 2020. If your brand is still experiencing disabled reviews from Google due to the pandemic, you can visit the COVID-19 specific GMB support page.

Even during these hard times, businesses should still be asking for reviews on Google. When done right, this type of constant engagement helps a brand stand out and retain loyal customers, and it’s just one of the many ways you can start adapting business for uncertain times.

an image of a person asking a woman for a review, which can help counter the issue of google reviews not showing up on a listing

Inaccurate Listing Information

An incorrect listing doesn’t just turn potential customers away; it also reduces the number of reviews a business can get after customers leave the store. Fortunately, you can easily change that by editing your listing information on GMB.

By clicking on the “Info” section of the GMB dashboard, you can edit important pieces of the listing’s public information such as the address, operating hours, and phone number.

You can use the “Info” section to “refresh” your location.

  1. Click on the pencil icon next to the listing’s address, and a pop-up window should appear, which includes a smaller version of Google Maps.
    a screenshot of a google my business listing showing where you can change the address if you don't see google reviews showing up on your listing
  2. Wiggle the map a bit and make sure the pin settles back onto the right location.
  3. Press the Apply button on the bottom of the window to save your changes.

Duplicate Listings

You should also double-check to see if there are duplicate business listings. This might seem like Google removed a review from your current listing, but it appears on an alternate listing.

You can check for duplicate listings by visiting Google Maps and searching for the business location’s exact name or address.

There are multiple ways to delete these duplicate Google listings – such as reporting it on Google Maps or removing the location through the GMB dashboard – but the main thing you should do to prevent the issue is by learning the Google “verify my business” procedure.

Same Business, New Location

If a business changes location but keeps the same name, Google should transfer the reviews to the new location on Google Maps.

However, if a business is heavily tied to a specific location – think hotels, golf courses, or local attractions – then Google might not automatically move the reviews.

a map pin which symbolizes your business in multiple locations which can be the reason why google reviews aren't showing up in your listing

If this is the case, send a report to Google using the Report a Problem link and provide information on your new business location. Keep in mind that moving to a new location means that you might also have to re-verify the listing.

Inactive Listings

An inactive listing also has a negative effect. Those who don’t log in to their Google My Business dashboard or show any activity – such as post updates, upload/share photos, respond to reviews, etc. – after a “significant length of time” might lose a business’ verification status.

Without verification, a business won’t appear in Google Search or Maps, which means customers won’t see Google reviews for that business.

Google will attempt to contact you via email before it revokes the status to see if there is someone actively managing the listing. If you miss the email and the listing becomes unverified, you will need to contact support to restore the previous status.

a closed shop illustrating an inactive listing which can explain why google reviews aren't showing up

Brand New Listings

The early days of a business can be difficult when it comes to attracting customers, and a GMB listing can help. However, there have to be enough people that leave a review after their visit.

In fact, Google won’t show the full set of reviews until at least five people leave a review or rating of a business. This is where word-of-mouth marketing might help attract more people to specific services or products.

Google Outages

There’s also the extremely rare chance that the problem is Google itself. In the past, Google suffered from sporadic outages, which results in Google reviews not showing up for multiple businesses.

From the GMB user’s perspective, this might mean missing out on a few reviews from customers, but you can always reach out to them later via email and kindly ask for feedback. Just make sure your message includes a review link.

an illustration of an outage that could explain why a google review is not showing up

Review Formatting

If the problem isn’t your listing, then the issue might be in the reviews themselves. However, GMB listing owners don’t have as much control in terms of user-submitted feedback. The best option is to tell customers about best practices when writing any form of feedback.

Reviews Marked as Spam

Google continues to be aggressive in fighting review spam to ensure the quality of the platform, which could possibly mean that some reviews may violate the Google review policy.

The review can also disappear when the GMB or another regular user flags the review as inappropriate. However, Google will need to look at the review in question before deleting it from the listing.

Google can also remove reviews and responses that contain any links or URLs. However, the author can look at their feedback and quickly edit Google My Business reviews to omit the URL and avoid Google’s digital axe.

an illustration of a web link that can explain why a google review might not show up on a listing

The Review is Not Authentic

Some brands try to cut the line and buy Google reviews in an effort to artificially boost their online reputation. Needless to say, that practice is not a good idea because it violates Google’s guidelines, which can result in the removal of your entire GMB listing.

You can easily avoid this situation by not even thinking about going down the route of buying Google reviews. Instead, be proactive and start asking for reviews even if they might be negative at first. Doing so provides the insights that you need to improve the experience for future customers, which pay off in the long run with more authentic, positive reviews.

Reviews from Third-party Sites

In the past, Google posted review data from sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Yahoo Local on a business’ Google listing. However, that’s no longer the case, which means that any reviews that showed up during that time from other sites are no longer part of the overall number of reviews in a listing.

In some cases, Google will sometimes still show some feedback from other reputable sites in a section called “Reviews around the Web” below the reviews by Google users, but these reviews are generated because of an algorithm and may not always be accurate.

Private or Deleted Reviews

In previous updates, Google users could just mark their reviews as private so others won’t see their feedback, but that option is gone. If you do notice a review is missing, another likely reason is that the person deleted the review altogether. There’s not much you can do at this point and hope that the customer returns and gives you another chance to ask for feedback.

a drawing of a review in the trash to show a deleted review which can explain why a google review does not show up in a listing

Google Reviews Not Showing Up are an Opportunity

It might seem like the end of the world when you see a Google review not showing up, but GMB users should use it as a way to get more reviews from newer customers.

Customer reviews data shows a major reason why consumers ages 16-34 place trust in a business is because of its positive ratings and reviews, and more than 92 percent of consumers will use online reviews to guide their purchase decisions. In other words, reviews are a major factor in driving revenue and retaining customers.

By continuing to request feedback and improving the customer experience, businesses can generate more reviews and utilize software to track every review coming from Google users.

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