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  • Google Reviews – The Mystery

    Posted by Tom Ham on February 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    We’ve been advised to reply to all Google reviews, both good and

    bad…and we have done so exactly according to Google guidelines.

    We check reviews once a week and find that our replies often vanish.

    Often something as simple as “Thanks for the kind words, Fred!”

    Of course, I’d probably have less trouble getting through to the Oval

    Office than anyone who could help at Google.

    Anyone have any advice or info on this?

    Thanks!

    larrybloodworth replied 10 years, 3 months ago 7 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
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  • saeengineer

    Member
    February 21, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Tom,

    The whole Google search thing is a science in itself.

    You have probiblaly seen this

    http://www.shopownermag.com/Item/96463/improving_customer_service_beyond_the_counter_leveraging_the_web_to_generate_leads_and_build_customer_relationships.aspx

    It’s a great read.

    The problem is Google doesn’t entirely disclose how it chooses what it displays. Even worse, by the time the SEO companies reverse engineer the process, Google changes the algorithm again.

  • blake

    Member
    February 21, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Google can be a full time job in itself Tom. I have my web guy do it and he does it very well. Tracking my new customers has almost 100% of them contacting me from an internet source. But I’d never do it myself. I know a little about the “idea”, but that’s as far as it goes. Having a successful web presence will deliver amazing results. Good luck.

  • autovitals

    Member
    February 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Raymond Massenberg wrote:

    > Tom,

    >

    > The whole Google search thing is a science in itself.

    >

    > You have probiblaly seen this

    >

    >

    http://www.shopownermag.com/Item/96463/improving_customer_service_beyo

    nd_the_counter_leveraging_the_web_to_generate_leads_and_build_customer

    _relationships.aspx

    >

    > It’s a great read.

    >

    > The problem is Google doesn’t entirely disclose how it chooses what

    it displays. Even worse, by the time the SEO companies reverse

    engineer the process, Google changes the algorithm again.

    Thank you Raymond, I am glad you liked the article.

    I want to say one thing though: I propose to not look at Google

    changing the algorithm because they want to create business for the

    SEO companies and get some of you sleepless nights worrying about the

    ranking of your business. It is typically because it increases the

    value for the searching public/motorist. Especially with increasing

    social interaction the social rank of a website becomes more

    important. In other words, a website or business listing recommended

    by a ‘friend’ catches your attention more than 20 or more reviews from

    ‘strangers’, right?

    More about the impact social ranking on website and listing can be

    found in our blog http://blog.autovitals.com/2012/01/21/rons-

    questions-about-unpredictable-search-results/

    Tom,

    Anything around the Google places listing changes on a regular basis,

    and as always when you do open surgery on a living creature, mistakes

    have a big impact. So reviews vanish and re-emerge, we got used to it,

    although we wish Google paid more attention to the implication on the

    small business, caused by those software glitches.

    Thank you for running this network.

    Uwe

  • Alan Ollie

    Member
    February 23, 2012 at 12:49 am

    We used to reply .Many customers thought we manipulated our reviews.

    We hear every day i chose your shop because you had so many good reviews. Reviews come and go it seems .I don’t know why. I am happy we have a ton of good ones. Ollie

  • dougfentiman

    Member
    March 14, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Tom,

    Like Uwe said Google is almost impossible to predict. Also, they have been making some big changes in how their search engines works, especially in last six months, and lots of ‘wierd’ things are going on.

    As a general suggestion I would recommend you continue making comments and wait for things to sort themselves out. Keep in mind that Google evaluates “your” comments and the more you make the more credibility you will be awarded. A comment from someone who has made 100 comments has far more “trust” factor than someone with an incomplete profile and one or two comments…

    Which leads to completing your Google user profile. Google may give your profile more credibility if you have made an effort to complete your account profile. Makes you more “ligitimate”. This may be one of the factors used in judging which comments to display.

    Also good to make comments on other non-automotive businesses in your local area. Coffee shops, stores, resturants, etc. Builds up your reputation in google’s eyes. And, if your comments are associated with a variety of business types there is less supicion of them being spam or bogus.

    Doug

  • Tom Ham

    Member
    March 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

    I checked this morning and all but one of my replies have been

    removed. Our approach now will be to only reply to bad reviews and do

    so as professionally as we can.

    I have been saving all reviews and replies on my computer, so all I

    had to do is copy and paste the missing one that I wanted to put up

    again.

    Next mission: Get reviews on Angieslist.

  • dougfentiman

    Member
    March 17, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Tom Ham wrote:

    > I checked this morning and all but one of my replies have been removed. Our approach now will be to only reply to bad reviews and do so as professionally as we can.

    > I have been saving all reviews and replies on my computer, so all I had to do is copy and paste the missing one that I wanted to put up again.

    Tom,

    Your problems with Google may result from two things:

    1) Reposting of “removed” comments.

    2) using same or very similar content for comments.

    Your “removed” comments have not been deleted by Google. They most likely have just been temporarily suspended due to what Google considerers suspicious activity with your account. When you post the same comment again all you do is make the problem worse. Google views your actions as manipulating and they will smack you down hard. If you contnue they may just suspend your whole account.

    Posting of identical or very similar comments is “viewed” as a SPAM tactic and gets your account flagged as suspicious. Remember that much of what happens on Google is automated and patterns of behavior are picked up very quickly. This is also why using the same comment (cut and paste) for comment replys is bad practice in general. Each comment needs to be different. Yes, that is more work, but you must play by Google’s rules or you get penalized.

    I still recommend commenting on good and poor reviews. Shows people you are paying attention and they will be more willing to make comments. Also, the more active your profile is the more attention it will recieve from both people and Google (ranking).

    Just be patient. There is nothing you can do for now. Stop reposting on previously replied comments. Keep commenting on new reviews. Even if they disappear they will come back when Google takes you off their “blacklist”…

    If you want you can do some reading in Google’s forum. There is a section where you can confess your “sin’s” and beg for forgiveness. Google staff do respond (eventually… remember it is a “free” service) and they will investigate your issue. If they see your actions as more a lack of understanding than done with bad intention they will usually take you off their “watch” list and restore your coments and account.

    Google has a huge amount of “Best Practice” guidelines in their help info. If anything it tells you what not to do.

  • larrybloodworth

    Member
    March 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Tom,

    You can use a free service that crawls the web 24/7 and will alert you by E-mail within 24 hours of any posting, anywhere, with your name, shop’s name, or any other name, or person you want to keep an eye on.

    It’s called Google Alerts and it uses the same web crawlwer Google uses to index the web. And like I said, it’s free.

    Go, Go, Google!