Why Are My Online Reviews Disappearing?

During the past several months PaperStreet has focused on obtaining more third-party reviews of our company on third-party review sites such as Google + and Yelp.  In doing this, we found that reviews are sometimes removed or deleted from these sites, often without notice or explanation.

Disappearing Reviews

We have been actively investigating how to keep as many of our client reviews as possible, and have learned some basic rules about how to avoid getting on the wrong side of the review algorithms these sites use to avoid review bias.

Below is a summary of the lessons we have learned through trial and error.

  • The same review cannot be posted multiple places.   Some clients, who were so excited about our services, posted the same review on more than one review site, and as a result both were deleted.  It is best for each reviewer to only provide one review in one location.  If they want to post a review in more than one location, it needs to be substantially different.
  • On some sites such as Google+, the reviewer may need to review more than one company for the review to stay. Encourage your clients to review several companies.
  • Make sure that you do not manage any of the pages, or profiles that left you reviews, or this will cause a deletion flag.
  • The reviews should be posted from different IP addresses.  So, if you are asking your clients to provide reviews at a review terminal or computer in your office it can be considered suspicious activity and may lead to the review being removed. Instead, encourage them to use their personal computers, phones or iPads. All of these are great technologies that make creating reviews easy and quick.
  • Timing is everything.   Try to avoid having reviews show up in batches.  Multiple reviews in one day or within a small amount of time are more likely to be removed, than those that are posted over time.

Online customer reviews are a great (possibly the best) way to instill confidence in potential customers or clients. It is absolutely in your best interest to get and keep online reviews.  The longevity of the reviews documents (and proves) a history of happy clients and establishes a positive reputation, both online and off.

Third-Party Websites

A third-party review website is an unbiased territory that allows users to comment, review and often rate a company. You (the user) are the first party, the website you are viewing is the second party and the comments and/or reviews you are reading are from the third party.

Some popular third-party review websites are:

  • Yellow Pages
  • FourSquare
  • Yahoo
  • Google+
  • Yelp

Online reviews can boost your reputation, confirm that your business is thriving and improve organic search results. If you get a negative review, don’t panic. Check out some of PaperStreet’s tips and tricks on managing negative reviews on third-party websites and social media.

Following these guidelines should extend the life of your online reviews, leaving them lingering long enough to turn many potential clients into paying customers.

One Response to Why Are My Online Reviews Disappearing?

  1. Andrew
    2:44 pm on November 8th, 2013

    Excellent tips and some clever ways of ‘getting around’ deletion flags. However, what you describe sounds like manipulation of the review process. I’m not saying this is wrong as long as the reviews are genuine. If a business offers an excellent service then clients will start to post positive online reviews without the need to try and optimise the process. Encouraging your clients to post reviews independently of your own involvement/manipulation is absolutely the right thing to do and will generally avoid being flagged up.
    At the end of the day review services are meant to help other potential clients decide but if reviews are being contrived then it is understandable for the owner of the review website be that Google, Yelp or whoever, to rightly try and stop this by deleting spam reviews and keeping the service clean and legitimate.
    Thanks again for the blog post and the insight.

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