To Review Or Not To Review – Google Reviews Paused For GMB Listings

Paul Gonzalez Local SEO, SEO

What’s Up With Google Reviews?

If you haven’t seen this yet, you probably will soon.  If you own a business, this could be a blessing or a curse at this point.  I’ve been following the local SEO news like a hawk and the reaction to this seems to be mixed.

Google Reviews on hold

Google is not posting reviews during Covid 19.

Get Reviews Now

In the “I want my reviews posted now” column you have a number of businesses that are still operating as usual.  They are lucky enough to be in areas that don’t face the tough restrictions we see in New York or other hard-hit locations, or, they are essential businesses that are working hard to keep their clients happy.  Either way, they are doing their jobs and would like the reviews to back that up.

In this case, I agree with those business owners, after all, we’re a digital marketing business and like to hear great feedback too.  They should get those hard-earned reviews and in my opinion, the most valuable spot to collect reviews today is on your GMB profile.  But if Google isn’t posting those reviews, should you be asking for them?  Google, on its best day, seems to have some struggles with GMB and getting things right.  So if you collect a bunch of reviews now that get stuck in Google limbo will they ever go live and benefit your business?

Don’t Get Reviews Now 

The other side of the argument can be just as compelling.  If you’ve been forced to shut down due to COVID 19 imposed restrictions, shouldn’t reviews be paused?  Think about it like this – Let’s say you own a local business, do a great job and suddenly your doors are closed.  This might anger a number of people and those angry people may decide to leave a negative review.  Don’t laugh, there have already been a significant number of these cases reported.  In that scenario, your business is being unfairly impacted and it’s a good idea that Google has paused reviews for now.  It gives your business a little protection in this unpredictable time.

The Answer:  Honestly, the answer is – BE CREATIVE!  You got into business because you are a creative problem solver, so keep at it.  If you feel it’s important that you keep generating good reviews, then there are alternatives to Google reviews.

A Couple of Suggestions

There is always more than one way to get things done, especially in the digital world.  We’d like to share a couple of useful suggestions.  Use either one of these to keep your customers happy and keep your website rankings from stalling:

  • Do a search for your business name plus reviews.  This search will show you a number of sites that are showing reviews for you.  If you can find this, then so can your potential customers.  Pick a couple of these sites and see what you can do to generate more positive reviews there.
  • Start collecting internal reviews that you can add directly to your site and feature a section on your home page to showcase the great reviews you are gathering during the COVID 19 crisis.  Take this as an opportunity to share with your community that you are alive and well and still doing a great job for your customers even though it may only be through “curbside service” or “take-out orders”, this will give them the confidence to reach out and do business with you NOW.

No matter your situation, you can still find solutions that will work for your business.  Use that American spirit to succeed when the odds are stacked against you!  And if you’d like some more suggestions feel free to reach out to our excellent Local SEO team for individual help by clicking here.

And for updated COVID 19 you can check out this handy map provided by Google.