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What Is Review Gating?

Review Gating: Google Can Punish You For Pre-Screening Reviews!

Google has very clear policies to make sure that businesses do not discourage negative reviews. Fortunately, clients with Reputation Management from LeadsNearby have nothing to worry about!

A decorative image of some review stars behind a fence on a stormy day. Text in front of the fenc asks "What is Review Gating and why is it a problem?"

Do Not Screen Your Reviews

Review gating is the act of selectively soliciting positive reviews from your customers.

You can rest assured, though, that LeadsNearby’s Reputation Management program, powered by Nearby Now, has never enabled review gating.

“If your review tool has a pre-review screening process where you ask if the person is happy or unhappy with your service or if you ask someone to rate your service before requesting a review, that’s a problem,” says Jerry Harrell, the Project Manager at LeadsNearby.

“When you’re review gating, a customer that indicated that they are satisfied would get a review request, but one that indicated dissatisfaction would not. Or, worse, they would be sent to a form to complete that the public will never see.”


Be Sure No One Is Review Gating On Your Behalf!

There are many platforms that incorporate review gating – some of which lie about doing it. There are companies that say that they don’t filter customers, when in fact they do!

One way to make sure that this does not come back to bite you is to walk through the process for yourself if you are exploring a new review service and make sure you know how it works.

Screens are for phones and windows. They are not a way to try to stop people from giving you an honest review!


No Problems With Nearby Now

Nearby Now chose years ago not to vet customers with a qualifier step. That kind of thinking was very attractive when LeadsNearby was exploring a partnership.  

As Nearby Now states in their own materials:

We believe our valued clients know how to best cultivate human interaction with customers to build the relationships necessary for a positive review. Therefore we put the request process in the hands of your customer service team and technicians. Only then can the appropriate team member correct any issues related to a customer’s happiness so that every person becomes a candidate for a review request.  

In fact, when integrating Nearby Now with various field service solutions, a workaround often needs to be built to avoid this review filtering!

It is important to both companies to go the extra mile to ensure human interaction is the determining factor behind reviews, not an algorithm.


BONUS TIP: Don’t Request Reviews In Bulk, Either

In addition to not discouraging or blocking reviews, Google also says they don’t want you to request reviews in bulk.

Greg Shadik, SEO Manager at LeadsNearby, notes, “if you normally get 2 or 3 reviews a week, but suddenly you get 60 on Thanksgiving, that’s going to raise a red flag.”

In other words, don’t email all of your customers to ask them to complete a review for you – and NEVER PAY FOR REVIEWS.

How Would You Rate Your Marketing Company? Are you getting 5-star treatment? If you’re not, call 919-758-8420 and let us give you a free consultation. See what LeadsNearby can do for your local service marketing.

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