The majority of people read reviews online before buying a product. More than 60 percent of them read reviews on Google (eCommerce Platforms). That makes it all the more worrying when a Google review is not showing up on your client’s profile.
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Why is a Google review not showing up, and what can you do about it? This guide goes over the benefits of reviews and explores potential reasons why Google Business reviews aren’t showing up for your clients’ profiles. Then, we’ll review the steps you can take to make sure Google reviews display on your clients’ profiles.
Why do Google reviews matter?
Reviews are essential for everything from sales to your clients’ SEO efforts. Google uses reviews from many platforms, but it especially favors reviews from Google Business Profile (GBP) for its local search algorithm.
Here are some other reasons Google reviews matter for your client’s business:
- Customers trust reviews on third-party platforms more than ones on your clients’ websites
- Google is the most popular platform, with the majority of customers using it to read reviews
- Google uses reviews as “social proof” in its search algorithm
Benefits of Google reviews
As the statistics below show, other reasons reviews matter include:
- 88 percent of people trust reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family (Business2Community)
- 93 percent of people say reviews have influenced their buying decisions (ExplodingTopics)
- Customers want to see about 40 reviews before they think a brand or product is trustworthy (Oberlo)
- Having 25 reviews can increase revenue by over 100 percent (G2)
Users look at reviews online to measure how trustworthy and credible a business is. This is why feedback to a business is critical, whether they come from positive or negative reviews.
Reasons your Google reviews don’t show up
As it turns out, there are quite a few reasons why your customer reviews aren’t showing up on Google, and could be for one of these reasons.
Your client’s profile is brand new
In this case, some patience is all you need, as the listing is too new and needs time accumulating enough reviews to display. New profiles play a big part in why a Google Business or Google Map review isn’t showing up.
In the meantime, you or your client can start optimizing their GBP to ensure everything is shipshape with their new profile. You can verify the business while you wait, or make sure all the information on the profile is accurate.
Your client hasn’t verified their Google Business profile
Google has a verification process to ensure the business listed in the profile is real. Verification helps your clients for a few reasons, such as boosting visibility and building credibility online. It could also be the difference between Google reviews displaying or disappearing.
If you haven’t verified your client’s Google Business profile, it might be why Google reviews aren’t showing up. If you have verified the business, then it might take a few days to process. This is especially true if your client opted to verify their business using the “postcard” method. Once the verification is complete, those reviews should start appearing.
There’s a duplicate Google Business profile
Another common reason a Google Business or Google Map review is not showing up is duplicate profiles. If you search Google and find more than one listing for your client’s business, this might be the issue. Once you’ve cleaned up the duplicates, those reviews should start displaying. (We look at how to deal with duplicates below.)
How are duplicate listings created?
- Changing web addresses: Sometimes, it’s as simple as the business changing their web address. Someone creates a new profile with the new web address, but the old profile is still up.
- Scammers: In other cases, scammers may create fake profiles to funnel customers away from your client. Sometimes, a well-meaning customer creates a profile because they couldn’t find one.
Inaccurate business information
Google wants to be sure it’s giving people accurate information. If your client’s profile has outdated details, then it’s unclear if those reviews are also real. The incorrect details could also be a sign that scammers have hijacked the profile.
Inaccurate information also hurts SEO efforts. It can cause confusion for your clients’ customers. Much like duplicate profiles, it’s best to correct misinformation right away.
Violating Google’s policies
Google has a fairly strict set of policies, which you might already be familiar with. Some of their policies include not displaying illegal or fraudulent information, as well as abusive content. Google might have also removed the review due to its content.
One reason a Google review is not showing up could be that it may have flagged it as being a fake review, and having them is a violation of their business guidelines. They’re also something the Federal Trade Commission has chosen to sue businesses over.
If your client bought fake positive reviews, this violates Googles policies for business listings and gives Google reason to flag them as well.
Google incorrectly flagged the review
If a review isn’t showing up, check out the content through your review management platform. Your client may also receive notifications from Google about new reviews. From here, you may be able to view the content.
If the review isn’t displaying but the content seems okay, Google might’ve mislabeled it as spam, to which you can dispute it with them. Once submitted, Google will review your report and, if they agree, they’ll reinstate the review.
Not enough reviews
Sometimes, Google reviews don’t show up because your client doesn’t have enough. When you conduct a Google search, you won’t see any reviews for their business.
This is often an issue that fixes itself as more reviews roll in. It can be worrisome to see it, especially if you know customers are leaving reviews on your client’s profile. The best action you can take is to get more reviews on your listing.
Updates from Google
In one case from 2021, Google disabled the review function temporarily. During this time, Google made changes to the way reviews displayed based on feedback they received from businesses.
Thankfully, the disabling of the review function was temporary. It still caused major interruptions for businesses that rely on reviews. Luckily, Google deciding to turn off reviews is a rare event. If customer reviews are not showing up on Google, it’s more likely to be one of the other reasons causing the problems.
What to do when customer reviews don't show up
Google Business reviews not showing up is a big concern for your clients. It’s natural that you, as their agency partner, want to find a solution.
There are lots of steps you can take to make sure reviews are displaying on your clients’ profiles. Which steps you take depend on the underlying problem causing Google reviews not to show up.
Verify your client’s GMB profile
To verify your client’s profile, you’ll need to have them select a method for verification. The most common method is the postcard method. Google will mail a postcard to your client’s address. They then verify they received it.
Other methods of verification include a phone call or a video call.
Verification can take a few days to complete, so reviews might not show up immediately.
Keep business information accurate
While you’re waiting for Google verification, double-check the information on the profile. If it’s not correct, then you should update it.
How to remove inaccurate information on your business profile
- Sign in to the client’s profile.
- Click “Report a Problem” at the bottom of the page.
- Select the type of problem and add details about what needs to be corrected.
It might take a few days for the information to be corrected, as Google has to review your report before updating the information.
If the outdated information is coming from a third-party website, then it might take longer. In the meantime, make sure you have information up to date on other listings and your client’s website.
Remove duplicate Google business profiles
Duplicate Google Business profiles are a big problem because they often cause customer confusion. You want to deal with duplicates as soon as possible.
If you do find duplicates for your client’s business, try to claim any unverified profiles. This puts them under your control. If there are profiles you can’t claim or the issue persists, reach out to the Google Business support team.
Ensure reviews don’t violate Google policies
If you’re still missing some reviews, then it’s time to check in and see if Google's spam filters have caught any of them. Here are some things Google will look out for in your reviews:
- The inclusion of a suspicious link or abusive content
- Bribing customers with payment (e.g., money, gift cards, etc.)
- Fake or duplicate reviews, they might have also been caught in the spam filter.
If some of your reviews don’t have any of the listed attributes, reach out to Google support as they might reinstate reviews that the spam filter flagged by mistake.
Check for updates and announcements from Google
If you’ve been through this list and can’t find any other reason for a Google review not to show up, check to see if Google’s made any announcements. In some cases, updates can also cause temporary problems.
In some cases, doing nothing at all is the right answer. If Google turned reviews off, for example, you won’t be able to fix the problem. There’s nothing to do in this case but hang tight and wait for further updates.
How to get more customer reviews on Google
Getting a business profile verified or cleaning up inaccurate data can sometimes take a few days. These are still “quick” fixes.
Trying to solve the issue of not having enough reviews to display can take longer than that. The good news is that there are plenty of steps you can take to encourage customers to submit more reviews for your clients. You can:
- Ask for a review by email, SMS, or another method
- Include a template to make reviewing easy
- Follow up with customers
- Respond to reviews
The good news is you don’t need many reviews to get your client’s star rating to show. In the past, you may have needed five. These days, even one or two will do the trick (ProjectArmy). If you’re dealing with ads, you’ll need around 100 (Search Engine Journal). Most customers want to see around forty or fifty before they'll trust your client.
So, you should keep requesting reviews even after you have enough reviews to make sure they show up. A steady stream of new reviews keeps customers engaged.
Frequently asked questions
How long does it take for a Google review to show up?
Google says a review should show up almost immediately, but it might take time to publish. Normally, you should see it within 24 hours, and the data should be visible within 7 days.
Why is my Google review not showing publicly but I can see it?
In some cases, the review was likely filtered out by Google. Google can delete a review at any time, even if they allowed it to post at first.