You may be getting reviews and don't even know unless your customer contacts you.
Business users are experiencing delayed reviews or reviews not appearing at all. If you are experiencing this, Google may be throttling you. Here are the top 9 reasons why, from a S.E.O. expert Mass Websites.
New Google business listing: If you recently created a business listing on Google and make frequent changes or edits, Google may perceive it as an attempt to deceive them. It's recommended to leave the original details unchanged for at least 30 days and make gradual updates to avoid being flagged or suspended. If suspended, reinstating your listing can be complex and time-consuming, and you might need professional assistance.
Rapid influx of reviews: If you gather a large number of reviews too quickly, especially from customers, friends, or family who want to support you, Google might see it as suspicious. Google is also becoming more vigilant in detecting reviews obtained through constant email sources or newsletters.
URLs or links in reviews: Reviews that contain URLs or links can be viewed as a violation of Google's guidelines. Such reviews may result in user suspensions and the throttling or non-publication of future reviews.
Reviews resembling marketing: If your customer reviews appear to be scripted or resemble marketing advertisements, it suggests that you may be providing customers or family members with pre-determined responses. Google can easily identify this practice and disapproves of it. While using marketing language in replies is acceptable, it is not appropriate for reviews.
Duplicate reviews on other platforms: If your Google reviews are found verbatim on other websites, directories, or platforms, it can raise concerns. Google discourages this practice because it can potentially deceive users. Posting Google reviews outside of Google's platform can lead to throttling or suspension, even if you are not directly responsible. To address this issue, you can search for websites displaying your Google reviews under your business name and request their removal, as they are attempting to manipulate the system.
Incentivizing reviews: Offering incentives such as gift cards or free items in exchange for reviews is against Google's policies. Google is aware of these tactics, so it's best to avoid them.
Fake reviews by hired SEO marketers: Some unethical SEO marketers, also known as Black Hat Marketing, may post fake reviews to manipulate the system or boost your rankings temporarily. However, this practice can lead to suspension of your listing shortly after you've invested a significant amount of money, leaving you without their support.
Reviews posted by staff or employees: If reviews are being posted by individuals using the same IP address, Google may consider it an attempt to game the system, which is against their guidelines.
Inactive or new review account: If your review account is relatively new or shows minimal activity, Google may give less weight to your reviews or not display them prominently. Building a history of active engagement can help improve the visibility of your reviews.
It's important to adhere to Google's guidelines and maintain transparency and authenticity when soliciting and posting reviews to avoid any penalties or limitations on your account. I often have to remind my business customers that Google is a business with a website that offers a service to you therefore, you must comply with their rules.
If you are unsure, or have issues with your Google Map Listing, been suspended or need help, you may want to hire a professional who is experienced and works within the Google Guidelines.