Update: 18th May 2020
It appears that ‘quarantined’ Google are now starting to show up. We’ve had three appear, another client a similar number and another 11.
Currently, there doesn’t seem to be any official notification from Google to confirm whether all ‘quarantined’ reviews have been released at once or in stages.
Nevertheless, the fact that reviews haven’t been lost is excellent news.
We’d love to hear your experiences. If you have seen new Google reviews added to your profile in the last couple of days, or nothing has appeared, please email [email protected]
There’s something strange happening with Google reviews.
Financial advisers and planners need to be both visible and impressive online. Why? Because sat between someone becoming aware of you and taking action is Google. One of the key ways to impress is to build up your online ratings and reviews.
Our preferred platforms for doing this are Google and VouchedFor.
Over the past few weeks, something strange has been happening with Google reviews. A financial planner left a review for us, but it soon disappeared. Next, we helped a financial adviser request reviews on Google and VouchedFor. His clients left several reviews on Google only for them to disappear over the next few days. This week we’ve had other reports of people writing reviews for their financial planner only for it not to appear.
So, what’s happening?
It seems that Google has suspended the ability to leave reviews.
The reason, perhaps unsurprisingly, is COVID-19. In an update on their website Google said: “During the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, we are taking steps to protect the health of our team members and reduce the need for people to come into our offices. As a result, there may be some temporary limitations and delays in support as we prioritize critical services.”
Confusingly, the option to write a review still appears on your Google My Business listing. However, reviews which are left won’t appear immediately. Instead, reviewers will see a message confirming that the review has been received but maybe “delayed at this time”.
What should financial advisers and planners do?
Google says: “New user reviews, new user photos, new short names, and Q&A will gradually return by country and business category. We’re also gradually publish delayed user reviews and photos submitted to Google Maps.”
Hopefully, that means reviews aren’t lost and will appear in due course. If that’s the case, it’s great news.
However, until that happens you might want to consider:
- Pausing requests for Google reviews until the functionality returns
- Considering an alternative review platform. For many reasons, we’re big supporters of VouchedFor. Indeed, we’ve helped on client build 99 reviews on the platform in just over a week
- Monitor the situation. We’ll let you know if we get any updates on when the functionality will return. Once it does, now is the perfect time for those advisers and planners who have stayed close to their clients over the past few weeks to ask for a review
If you would like to chat about Google reviews, improving your online presence or building a campaign to capture more VouchedFor reviews please get in touch. Email [email protected] or call 0115 8965 300.