If you could have sworn you just went backwards in the number of reviews on your Google My Business (GMB) local listing, you may not be imagining it.
Google has recently confirmed their removal of all legacy anonymous reviews from GMB listings. Until recently, a large number of customer reviews existed on Google under the authorship of “a Google user”. It hasn’t been possible to publish reviews anonymously on Google for many years now, and it seems like a legacy of those days has finally been erased with this news from Google.
A recent analysis from BrightLocal indicated that these anonymous reviews constituted about 3% of all reviews on Google local listing environments. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all businesses have only lost a negligible percentage of their reviews. Businesses with a lot of review generation activity going back over a long period of time may be the hardest hit.
Some of our local business clients have asked what our perspective is on this and what can be done about it. The direct and immediate answer to that question is that nothing can be done about the loss of anonymous reviews specifically, but there are some activities that you can undertake to ensure the impact is not harmful to your business. WordJack holds the view that the recency and frequency of reviews could be more important than the total volume and average rating of your entire review history. Like an athlete, you’re only as good as your recent results. Furthermore, if you decide you’ve done enough and stop trying, you’ll start slipping!
Attracting Online Reviews: An Important Ongoing Marketing Activity
We recommend local businesses think of review generation as an ongoing exercise to stay prominent and competitive. Asking for feedback from recent clients is a great way to keep your customer satisfaction levels up, leading to more referral customers and positive online reviews.