We recently wrote about the 11 reasons why your Google reviews might disappear and the things you can do to get them reinstated.
When Google removed two of our reviews last week, we were able to test our advice. Here’s what we did and why it worked.
We successfully rescued two of our Google reviews
During March we’d received 10 new 5-star Google reviews.
We know they can suddenly disappear so we kept an eye on things, worried that Google might suddenly remove one of our new reviews. All was well for a few days. Then, our fears were confirmed as two of the reviews vanished, disappearing into thin air.
To say we were unhappy was an understatement. Advisers had taken time to write them, they impress potential clients on their journey to our door and give our team a morale boost. So, we weren’t prepared to give them up without a fight.
Our first job was to work out which of our reviews Google had taken down. That was easy because we keep a spreadsheet of all our reviews, so it was simple to compare that with the remaining live reviews. We took a look at the screenshots we’d previously taken of the reviews to try and understand the reason for their removal.
Were the reviews genuine? Yes, absolutely they were.
Did they contravene Google’s guidelines? No, we don’t believe they did.
Was there another reason why the review might have come down? Nope, nothing obvious.
So, we had two choices:
- Submit this form to Google and ask them to reinstate the reviews, or
- Go back to the advisers and ask them to resubmit the reviews.
We chose the first option (the second we’d keep up our sleeve as plan B if Google didn’t play ball).
We completed the form and waited.
Pretty soon, we received an email with a templated response explaining the three reasons why the review might have been taken down. None of these applied. So, we replied with screenshots of the reviews (to prove they existed in the first place and that they didn’t break any rules).
The next email we received from Google said they were looking into it. Our hopes weren’t high, but we had to let them do their work.
Friday morning came and, early in the office, I checked our Google review count. It had risen by two. I eagerly scrolled down to find that Google had reinstated the two missing reviews.
Google even called us on Friday morning to say that they had reinstated the reviews.
Big companies are often criticised by customers but, on this occasion at least, getting our reviews reinstated was simple:
- Identify the missing reviews
- Submit a form to Google
- Respond to their email with the screenshots.
The 3 things you need to do now so you’re prepared if it happens to you
We all know that Google reviews impress potential clients on their digital journey to your door. We also know that they are hard to get. So, when Google remove one, it’s worth fighting for.
To improve your chances of winning that fight, you need to prepare by doing three things:
- Keep a marketing KPI dashboard up to date so you can easily spot any reviews that disappear (we have a free dashboard, click here if you’d like a copy)
- Create a spreadsheet showing the name of everyone who left a review, the date they left it and a copy of what they said
- Take a screenshot of each review and keep it somewhere safe.
Then, when a review disappears, you can follow the steps we did, hopefully with the same result. And if Google doesn’t reinstate the review, your master list means you can go back to your client to explain what’s happened, and ask them (very politely) if they’d leave another review.
If you have questions about our experience, you’re struggling with Google reviews, or have other feedback on this week’s blog, we’d love to hear from you. Email email@example.com or call 0115 8965 300. We’d love to hear from you.