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Why You Are Losing Google Reviews: A Comprehensive Guide to Unveiling the Mystery

Why You Are Losing Google Reviews: A Comprehensive Guide to Unveiling the Mystery
Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Co-Founder & Head of Product
Explore why you are losing Google reviews and how you can handle it. Understand how review gating, spam attacks, and other factors can contribute to lost reviews.
Why You Are Losing Google Reviews: A Comprehensive Guide to Unveiling the Mystery

Do you find yourself asking, "Why am I losing my Google reviews?" If so, you're not alone. It's not uncommon for business owners to notice their hard-earned reviews mysteriously disappearing from their Google Business Profile (GBP). This can be a perplexing and frustrating experience. However, typically there's no devious plot behind it. Here, we break down the common reasons your Google reviews may be vanishing.

In this blog, we will explore the common reasons behind the disappearance of your Google reviews and provide effective solutions to resolve them.

Who owns my Google reviews?

Google reviews are typically considered user-generated content, and the users who leave the reviews own the content. However, it's important to note that Google retains the right to moderate and remove reviews that violate their policies. While businesses cannot claim ownership of the reviews, they can report reviews that violate Google's policies for potential removal.

Furthermore, it has become a common practice among businesses and consumers to use positive reviews as marketing assets. As long as businesses, communicate with the respective reviewer, they can use these Google reviews to attract potential customers. Read Boost Credibility and Trust: Adding Google Reviews to Your Website to learn more about this.

Why do I keep losing Google reviews?

Losing Google Reviews can significantly affect your online presence. To learn more about this, read How Ratings and Reviews Impact Search: A Comprehensive Guide for SEO. Fortunately, they don’t get randomly deleted, there are specific reasons why it happens. Here are some of the questions that can guide you in monitoring your Google Reviews.


1. Is the review in violation of Google’s content guidelines?

Google is vigilant about maintaining the integrity of its reviews. If a review breaches their content guidelines, it might be removed swiftly.

screenshot google review guideline
A sneak peak to the Google Review guidelines.

What are the rules for Google reviews?

Your Google My Business account will be flagged if you post reviews for your own business, post fake or spammy reviews, use offensive or inappropriate content, and fail to adhere to geographic location restrictions, among other rules. It's essential to review Google's official review policies to ensure compliance.

2. Did your business face a mass spam event?

If your business suddenly gets bombarded with a series of negative or positive reviews, Google’s sophisticated spam detection algorithm may intervene. Google’s main reason in implementing such management and monitoring scheme is to avoid businesses from deceiving customers, especially considering some companies are susceptible to buying Google Reviews.

screenshot of a set of google reviews flagged as spam
Identical reviews flagged as spam by Google.

Google strives to ensure that all reviews depict a genuine customer experience, and a sudden influx of reviews might trigger its spam filters. To avoid this from happening to your Google profile, read Spotting Fake Google Reviews: A Guide to Identifying and Dealing with Fake Reviews.

How many times can you leave a Google review?

There isn't a specific limit to the number of reviews an individual can leave on Google. However, Google may have algorithms in place to detect and remove suspicious or spammy reviews, which could affect how many reviews are allowed from a single account. It's best to encourage genuine, honest reviews from your customers.

3. Is Google suspecting review gating?

Google Business listing owners are allowed to flag their own reviews if they violate Google Review guidelines. To learn about this, read Learn How to Remove Google Reviews and What To Do If You Can't. However, if you're selectively soliciting reviews from only satisfied customers and suppressing negative reviews, it's called review gating. This practice can lead to your reviews being removed promptly. Google aims to create an unbiased platform, and review gating goes against this principle.

screenshot reporting negative review google
Reporting a negative review.

Can businesses hide Google reviews?

While businesses cannot directly hide or remove Google reviews, they can report reviews that violate Google's policies. If a review is found to be in violation, Google may remove it. However, it's not possible to selectively hide reviews just because a business dislikes them.

4. Have you made structural changes to your GBP?

Sometimes, making changes to your GBP such as altering your business address or reinstating a suspended profile can cause a temporary loss of reviews. Aside from Google reviews, the view count of your GBP listing may also be affected. Read Why is Google My Business Profile Traffic Decreasing? to learn more about GBP updates. However, note that it's usually just a matter of waiting for Google's system to catch up and restore them.

screenshot change google my business to google business profile
Google regularly updates the algorithm of Google Business to better showcase businesses on their platform.

Do old Google reviews get deleted?

Generally, Google reviews do not have a specific expiration date, so older reviews can remain visible on your Google Business Profile.

5. What happens if a user deletes their Google account?

If a customer who left a review deletes their Google account, their contributions (including their reviews) will also be removed.

screenshot deleting google service from a google account
Deleting a Google service from a Google account. Source: Business Insider

Do my reviews stay if I delete my Google account?

If you delete your Google My Business listing, your reviews associated with that listing will also be removed. It's crucial to understand that removing your business listing means your reviews will no longer be visible to the public.

6. Could it be a Google bug?

While rare, technical glitches can occur, causing reviews to disappear temporarily. These issues are typically resolved once detected by Google.

How do I recover a Google review?

Recovering a deleted Google review is possible, albeit tricky. Fortunately, it’s easy to regain your Google rating, even though you’ve lost some of your positive Google reviews. Here are some ways to do this:

1. How about getting more reviews?

The best way to offset the impact of vanished reviews is to generate more of them. The more reviews you have, the less impact the disappearance of a few will have. Generate a Google Review link and spread it among your customers through in-store cards, emails, SMS campaigns, and more. You’ll be surprised to know that 72% of consumers are actually willing to leave reviews, you just have to when and how to ask them.

sample of in-store signs for google reviews
Google Review in-store signs for your business. Source: PosterMyWall

2. Have you tried reaching out to Google?

If you believe a review was unjustly removed, you have the option to reach out to Google's support team. While it's unlikely you'll get the removed review back, there's no harm in trying.

3. Have you considered contacting your Reputation Management Software provider?

If you're working with a reputation management company, they should be there to help you navigate any issues with your GBP, including disappearing reviews. While review management tools can help you monitor and manage your Google reviews in the most efficient way possible, it’s imperative to get those that will adhere to Google Review guidelines. To see if your review management solution fits this requirement, read Optimize Your Online Presence and Save Time With Review Management Tools.

How to answer all your Google reviews efficiently

Facing a challenge with crafting personalized responses? MARA, the AI Review Reply Assistant, is your perfect ally. This intuitive tool generates personalized replies to customer reviews in a matter of seconds. Just hit the "generate reply" button, and MARA will give you a super personalized response proposal.

screenshot MARA response to google reviews
Sample of how MARA crafts optimized and engaging responses to Google Reviews.

With MARA, you can save significant time usually spent crafting manual replies and maintain a consistent tone and messaging in your responses, enhancing your professionalism. Plus, it's multilingual, making it suitable for businesses with international customer bases.

The best part? You can test MARA for free. Experience the benefits of time-saving, cost-cutting, and maintaining consistency in your responses. Give it a go today. Trust us, you'll wonder how you managed reviews without it.

Final Thought

The disappearance of your Google Reviews may have multiple causes, but awareness and proactive management are key to safeguarding your online reputation. By comprehending the potential pitfalls and implementing the strategies discussed in this guide, you can navigate the review landscape with greater confidence and ensure that your hard-earned reviews remain a testament to your business's excellence.

This article is part of our hero content on "Mastering Google Reviews - A Complete Guide."

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Why do Google reviews disappear?

Google reviews can disappear due to policy violations, spam attacks, review gating, structural changes to Google Business Profile, user account deletions, and software glitches.

Can I retrieve my lost Google reviews?

While it's hard to get back reviews removed due to policy violations, you can try contacting Google's support team if you feel a review was unjustly removed.

How can I prevent the loss of reviews due to review gating?

You can prevent review gating by not directing negative reviews to internal feedback forms or delaying load times for unhappy customers, as these tactics can lead to review removal.

Is buying fake reviews a good strategy to boost my rating?

No, buying fake reviews can backfire as Google's algorithms can detect and remove them, negatively impacting your reputation.

How could software bugs cause missing reviews?

Software issues may cause temporary anomalies with reviews, such as displaying invalidated reviews or creating additional ones when users try to update existing reviews. Google typically resolves these issues once detected.

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