Update 2/14/17: Google eventually removed the review, after keeping it up for 3-4 days. I suspect that, as I requested, enough readers flagged it down. Just to see if
Google would do anything. Thanks to Glenn Gabe for alerting me. Now I have a little more faith in Google’s system – though it’s still a mess.
So much for Google’s automatic review filters.
I posted that review of my business yesterday (2/9/17). I suppose it’s possible they’ll remove it tomorrow, or next week, or next month, but I doubt it. I’ve seen too many business owners self-review and have the review stick around indefinitely.
I even wrote the review with the same Google account I use to manage my Google My Business page. There’s no way Google could have mistaken me for a customer. Google probably knows more about my life than I do.
It’s simply that Google doesn’t care if you review yourself. Doesn’t care one pinch. As with policing business names and addresses on “the local map,” Google’s policing of reviews doesn’t extend beyond the donut box. Say what you want and do what you want, as long as you don’t make Google look bad.
Anyway, I’ve found that the only thing that will usually get your reviews filtered is if you ask for too many of them at once. Google still looks askance (as they should) at big spikes in your review count. Perhaps in time they’ll ease up on that, too.
One hanging chad in my little test: it’s possible that a self-review of a business with no reviews or few reviews would get filtered. Google is used to seeing a trickle of reviews on my page.
I was about to say that another theoretical hole is that I’ve written a number of reviews over the years, so maybe Google “trusts” my account in that regard. But I’m still reviewing my own business.
Google has pushed reviews hard for several years now, after a brief period of subjecting reputation-conscious business owners to a Spanish Inquisition. They’re invaluable for data-mining and – mostly in indirect ways – for filling the AdWords cup.
What does Google’s seemingly relaxed attitude toward self-reviews mean to you, the business owner? Mostly that you probably don’t need to hand-wring over details like whether you can ask 5 customers one week and 8 customers the next week, or whether it’s OK to send a direct link.
It also means that – now that someone can have your business show a 1-star average rating after a single negative review – you can probably take care of yourself with swagger.
What crazy Google reviews have you seen not get filtered?
What kinds of reviews has Google filtered?
Leave a comment!
P.S. Want to flag down my self-review and see if and when Google will take it down? Might be a neat experiment for a follow-up post.