Google reviews can help a small business expand their reach to more prospects. But at the end of the day, Google controls the content that lands on their social network, Google Plus. This has left many of us wondering, ‘Why did Google remove that review?” According to their review policy, there are nine types of review content that they consider ‘prohibited and restricted.’ But what they could explain more is why they classify some reviews as ‘spam or fake.’ The answer is: the IP address.
Customers sharing the same IP address
Your internet service provider assigns the computer you connect to the internet with an IP address. If your customer brings a family member in, and they go home and both decide to leave a review for business on their shared computer, Google considers this a duplicate. In the world wide web, duplicate is another word for spam. So there goes their nice gesture and your chance to keep these two new reviews.
Customers reviewing with your WiFi
It’s no surprise that you have logged into your business’ Google Plus from your business WiFi. However, if you offer this same WiFi to customers and a happy customer decides to leave you a review while they wait, you’ve run into the IP address issue again. Another problematic scenario is if they simply log in to their Google Plus from your WiFi and leave the review later at home. The fact that they were on your IP has already left a trail.
Happy employees leaving reviews at work
Whether you asked your employees to give your business a Google Plus review, or they took it upon themselves, this is actually against Google’s guidelines. This is also another case where the search engine giant can sniff this out through the IP address. The employee is either leaving the review at work with the company WiFi, or they’ve signed into Google Plus under the WiFi and then left the review in another location like at home. Since this removal can be prevented, it’s probably best to ask your employees not to leave reviews.
Another option outside of the IP address is customers deleting the review themselves. This happens often with incentives. If you extend your offers or giveaways to a wide range of customers in exchange for a review, you may see reviews removed once they redeem their prize. Consider cherry-picking the customers you offer the incentive to in order to avoid this.
As we saw in the review policy, there are many other reasons why Google may remove a review from your listing. Because it’s almost like the luck of the draw, just remember the big picture which is to have an overall positive online reputation. As long as you have enough 4+ star reviews to keep you competitive against others in your industry, you’re in good standing.