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3 Reasons Your Review Count Might Be Off

Where’s My Review?

The latest episode of Mark Shewin’s Contractor Marketing Soapbox features Mark talking with Billy Coover, CEO & Co-Founder of Nearby Now, about common reasons that your review count might not match your expectations. 

Enjoy the episode anywhere you get podcasts and get even more information below.

#1. New Reviews Might Still Be Processing

While Google does not make all of its screening criteria publicly available, there are obviously safeguards in place. As such, it does take some time to run all of the content through their machine learning. 

“One of the things we do at Nearby Now is go through the Google API each night to retrieve any reviews we can for our customers,” Billy says. “Normally, they come through on their own, but we double-check every night just to see if we can catch any that are processed but not yet posted.”


#2. A Review Counted As An Update, Not A New Review

“Even Google has limits,” adds Mark. 

One of those limits is that a Google user can only review a business one time – even if they’ve received multiple services from said business. When you review a business for a second time, Google considers this an update and not a new review.  

Nearby Now users can see this noted in their dashboard.

This is an informative image. It is a screenshot of the Nearby Now portal. There is an arrow pointing to the words "Original review created on 11/24" in order to show what it looks like when you get a second review from a customer.

“You might even get an email telling you that a new review came in,” adds Billy, “but if it’s with an account that you’ve already heard from, it will be considered an update.” 

Billy also says that this is the most common reason for confusion between your total review count and the amount that you might be expecting to see. You could service one customer every day for a year and get a review from them each time, but your review count will only increase by one the first time they post.


#3. The Review Was Deleted

“This can happen for 2 reasons,” offers Billy. “The first is that the user requested that the review be deleted. The other reason is that Google found that the review violated their terms of service in some way.” 

Here are the 9 most common ways a review can violate Google’s terms of service:

    1. Posting Fake Reviews. This includes automatically generated reviews as well as reviews posted by a person hired for that specific purpose. The FTC is also actively working against fake reviews, too.
    2. Conflict of Interest. Leaving reviews about your own business, or asking friends, family, or employees to leave reviews is considered deceptive.
    3. Offensive Content. Using language or content that is inappropriate, hateful, or offensive, including profanity, threats, or harassment.
    4. Personal Information. Phone numbers, addresses, or email addresses within the review are not allowed.
    5. Impersonation. Posing as someone else, misrepresenting your identity or connection to the business.
    6. Irrelevant Content. Posting reviews that are unrelated to the actual experience with the business, for example, political or social commentary, a review designed to be funny, etc.
    7. Promotional Content. Reviews with advertisements, promotions, or links to other websites is forbidden.
    8. Confidential Information. Revealing business secrets or confidential agreements that are not meant for public knowledge will get a review deleted.
    9. Posting Multiple Reviews To Artifically Skew The Overall Rating. 


Asking ≠ Incentivising

Asking for reviews is essential for your home service business. However, offering incentives, payments, discounts, etc. is strictly prohibited. 

Improper review techniques can literally cost you thousands of dollars in fines and more. Supplement marketer The Bountiful Company was fined $600,000 by the FTC for “review hijacking” on Amazon.

“Remember that transparency is always the key with reviews,” cautions Billy. “Use that as your guide when making decisions and you can’t go wrong.”

If you are getting different guidance from your marketing company, contact us online for a free consultation about your marketing strategy.

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