Reviews are the hallmark of a business’s online reputation. A recent Birdeye study shows that customers check online reviews 68% of the time before engaging with a business. In fact, over 50% of customers admit to reading five or more reviews during the purchase process. 

Google is the leading review platform for every business, so when Google reviews aren’t showing up, it can be quite distressing. 

A quick answer to why Google reviews aren’t showing up: 

There are many reasons why Google reviews may not appear on your Profile, usually due to a policy violation on your Google Business Profile or the review contests. Exploring the possible reasons can help you resolve the issue and bring the Google reviews back up for public view. 

In this blog post, we explore fourteen major reasons why Google reviews may not appear on your Google Business Profile and offer solutions for each of them. 

View and manage your Google reviews from a single dashboard with Birdeye.

Want to see the impact of Birdeye on your business? Watch the Free Demo Now.

What is Google’s review policy?

To identify potential issues, Google evaluates the contents of all Google reviews according to the Google review policy to ensure users provide only honest and unbiased feedback about businesses. 

Based on this, Google scrutinizes each review and removes those identified as spam, fake, biased, offensive, or with a conflict of interest. Google reviews that don’t show up often fall into these categories. 

Here are a few key takeaways from Google’s review policies:

  • Reviews must include details about the customer’s experience to be posted.
  • Google flags anonymous reviews written to mislead customers. 
  • Google prohibits reviews written as spam and fake content to manipulate.
  • Google bans off-topic reviews that don’t specify how the business’s product/service is. 
  • Reviews must not contain hate speech, and illegal, abusive, derogatory, and explicit content must be removed. 
  • Reviews must be written in the language intended for the target audience, or else they will be removed. 
  • Users shouldn’t share personal information 
  • Users shouldn’t be sharing the same content multiple times from multiple accounts.
  • Google only allows reviews from verified customers, meaning users must have purchased a product or service directly from the company.
Image shows the Google customer support page

What is a Google-verified customer review?

A Google-verified customer review is a review customers leave after buying from a business. Your business’ ratings and reviews appear on Search Ads. Higher review scores increase your chances of appearing in the top five search results. 

Including customer reviews in search ads via the Google Seller Ratings programs improves businesses’ click-through rate by 17%. 

Related read: How to boost Google ad performance via Google Seller ratings

“With Birdeye, specifically on microsites, we average 4.85 stars. In a very concentrated and competitive market, GSR gives us that advantage above others. Also, with GSR in our ads, our cost per click is $0.19, down from $0.45.” 

Brian Torres, Digital Marketing Manager at Firstmark Credit Union

14 reasons why Google reviews are not showing up and how to fix it

It can be frustrating if some of your customer reviews are missing from Google. Your review counts matter, and a review can influence potential customers to trust your company.

From technical glitches and policy violations to incomplete product listings, understanding why a review is missing will help your business reviews show up quickly. 

There are 14 main reasons why this might happen, let’s take a look at what they are and how you can fix them. 

1. Inaccurate listing information 

Incorrect listing information can not only hurt your SEO, it can also reduce the number of reviews your company gets from customers.

Luckily, there’s an easy fix. You can edit your information in your Google Business Profile.

Here’s how to fix inaccurate listing information:

  1. First, log into your Google account.
  2. Find the location or listing you want to edit and click “View profile.”
  3. Then select “Business information” and find the selection you want to edit.
  4. Select the pencil icon to add or edit information.
  5. Finally, make the edits and click “Apply.”

Once you’ve updated your business information, you’ll see more reviews displayed on your listings. This is because your customers will know that is your authentic profile and want to leave a review.

Managing multiple listings? Use Birdeye Listings to view, manage, and optimize listings for multiple locations from a single dashboard. Quickly spot errors, average ratings, and overall performance with simple clicks. 

2. Duplicate Business listings 

Having multiple Google Business listings might also be why you’re not seeing the reviews you’re expecting. Your customers might accidentally leave reviews in the duplicate listings when they should be leaving them on your primary business listing.

To solve this problem, you’ll need to remove any duplicate listings you have. 

Here’s how to remove duplicate listings:

  1. First, log into your  Business Profile Manager.
  2. Next, go to Manage locations.
  3. From there, check the boxes for any duplicate listings you want to be removed.
  4. Then click “Actions” and Remove location.

3. Inactive listings

If you’ve been logged out of your Google Business Profile listing for a while, there’s a chance that Google might have unverified your business listing. Google says it will un-verify business listings if companies are inactive on their Google Business Profile page for more than six months.

Image shows how businesses receive a message from Google for inactive listings

Suppose you’ve lost verification on your business listing. In that case, it’s essential that you regain your verification not only to collect reviews but to also edit your Google Business listing to reflect current information and respond to Google reviews.

The solution: Contact Google support to re-verify your business.

4. Your Google Business Profiles have recently merged

When you merge your Google Business Profiles, it is possible that a few reviews do not show up or take longer to appear. If customers mention leaving a review but you can’t find it, it may be due to this issue. 

The solution: Wait for a while as these issues take longer to resolve. However, according to Google, your review should appear in a while. 

5. Your Google Business Profile is unverified

While it is not always imperative for businesses to verify Google Business Profiles to enable reviews, this can be a potential issue. When an unverified profile suddenly starts getting traction, Google may take time verifying customer reviews to ensure this is not a case of spam or paid reviews. 

The solution: Before you launch your review generation campaign, ensure that you have verified your Google Business Profile.

Now, let’s talk about some issues with the reviews that might be why your Google reviews aren’t showing up. 

If the issue isn’t with your Business Page, chances are it’s an issue with the review itself. A review that violates Google’s policies will be flagged or removed.  

Let’s run through the next few reasons why a Google review might have an issue. 

6. Reviews from current or former employees 

Businesses should avoid having employees write reviews for their profiles because it presents a conflict of interest and could result in Google quickly deleting those reviews.

However, this rule can also benefit you. For instance, if a former employee posts a negative review, Google will promptly remove it.

This one is simple but can cause some issues. Google doesn’t allow reviews to have any outbound links to other websites. If they do, they’ll be removed.

The solution: In your review request, advise your customers not to include links in their reviews. 

8. You’ve been paying for/ incentivizing reviews 

Reviews that were paid for or incentivized are a big red flag for Google. Under no circumstances should you be buying Google reviews

If you’ve been paying for or incentivizing reviews, you’ll have your reviews deleted. Even worse, Google will penalize your company in search rankings.

The solution: NEVER buy Google reviews, no matter how tempting this may be.

Pro Tip: Instead of turning to paid reviews, work on changing your negative reviews, if any, into positive ones. Even if your customer had a negative experience and decided to vent their anger through a not-so-pleasant review, encourage them to review maturely or see if you can take the conversation offline. 
Image shows how businesses can respond to negative reviews

9. Profanity in Google review 

Google doesn’t tolerate profanity of any kind in written reviews. If the review has any profane language, it will be removed.

The solution: Encourage customers to refrain from using profanity in their reviews.

10. The user deleted the Google review

It’s also possible that, for whatever reason, the customer decided to delete their own Google review.

The solution: This can be frustrating, but you can remedy this by contacting the customer directly and asking why the user deleted the review. It may have been a mistake, and you can get their review reposted.

11. The user deleted the account

Each customer review is linked to their Google account. As anonymous reviews are no longer valid on the platform, Google reviews can disappear when customers delete/deactivate their accounts after leaving reviews. 

The solution: If your customer review is missing because the user no longer has a Google account, you can’t reinstate the review. The next best thing to do is to strengthen your review request process and generate reviews from other customers to make up for the loss. 

The next two examples may be technical glitches that don’t happen very often but are still possible explanations for missing reviews on Google.

12. There could be a bug with Google

It’s not very common, but your Google reviews may not be showing up because of a bug on Google’s end, just like what happened recently when Google pushed several new changes live at once to the Business Profile.

The solution: If you think this is happening to you, you need to contact Google support.

Take note of the problems you’re having so you can immediately bring them to Google’s customer service support team. Explain in detail the technical issue you’re having in the GBP Support Form to have your reviews reinstated. 

You’ll want to give your old and new CID (unique ID that Google assigned to a business location) numbers to Google.

13. Your business isn’t open to the public yet

Businesses can create a Google Business Profile for a yet-to-be-opened business by setting a later business open date. This enables them to engage potential customers by adding photos, posts, and merchant descriptions before the business goes live. 

However, if customers leave a review before the “opening date”, those reviews would not show up under your profile as Google may consider it to be fake or spam. 

If, according to your Google Business Profile, your company is not open to the public, Google restricts any reviews left for the business. These reviews would automatically be removed, considering these to be fake reviews for a closed business. 

Image shows how businesses can see if their business is set as open on Google Business Profile

The solution: Wait until you are open to the public before requesting reviews from your customers. Or double-check if the business is set to open according to Google Business Profile. 

Why is your Google review delayed?

These are two of the most probable reasons why your reviews are delayed: 

  1. If you’ve set a future opening date for your business, any reviews left before it’s open to the public will be removed. 
  2. Your profiles have merged recently, slowing down the reviews of Google Maps or Google Search. 

14. Older operating systems might be causing issues leaving a review

If you have customers that are leaving reviews on old devices and operating systems, then there are likely to be some issues with their reviews not appearing right away. 

The solution: Recommend to your customers that they update their operating system and Google Maps app on their smartphone or tablet. 

Use missing Google reviews as an opportunity 

When your Google reviews disappear, don’t stress. Now you know why it might have happened and how to fix it. So, let this be an opportunity to motivate your company to collect more reviews from your customers. 

So how can you collect more Google reviews? Send review requests to your customers via text and email with a custom short link to your Google My Business profile. Chances are that your customers will be happy to give you more feedback. 

Check out our article on how to get more Google reviews in 5 steps.

FAQs about Google reviews not showing up

Why is my Google review not showing publicly but I can see it?

When you post a review, it can take some time to get “posted.” Open an incognito window to check if it’s a technical glitch. If not, the review is under Google’s moderation process. 

How long does it take a Google review to show up?

While you might see reviews almost instantly, there are business owners that report waiting 2-7 business days to actually see these reviews appear online.

Is there a bug that Google reviews are not showing up?

Possibly. It is not common, but it happened when Google recently made several new changes to Business Listings.

How do I fix my Google reviews?

To fix your Google reviews:
Check if something went wrong when your customer left the review.
Contact your customer to understand if it was a technical issue.
Contact Google Business Profile Help. 

Do Google reviews expire?

No, Google reviews don’t expire. New ones get better visibility because they are recent, but you or your customers can scroll to view past reviews. 

Do Google reviews need to be approved?

No, Google doesn’t manually approve reviews. But it does automatically processes to detect inappropriate content like fake reviews and spam. 

Can companies delete Google reviews?

No, Google doesn’t allow any company or business to delete reviews. Only the reviewer who wrote the review can delete it. But, businesses can request Google to remove an inappropriate review.

Why are my Google reviews not appearing? 

Apart from the technical bug, your Google review is missing because it may be removed from the page for various reasons. Some questions to ask:
– Is/was your profile disabled or suspended recently?
– Did any reviews violate policies?
– Did it contain any inappropriate content?
Sometimes it may happen that it wasn’t your fault. The account that was reviewed has a history of posting spammy or low-quality content. And that’s why Google is preventing your reviews from being shown.
Remember, Google only approves helpful, accurate, and trustworthy reviews.

Start managing your Google reviews with Birdeye 

Managing Google reviews is important for every business’ online reputation management, regardless of size or review volume. However, the task becomes difficult when juggling multiple accounts and collecting hundreds of reviews every month. 

That is why Birdeye reviews was built as the premium solution for multi-location businesses to strengthen their review management.

 With Birdeye, businesses can:

  • Automate review requests to seamlessly collect Google reviews from customers
  • View, track, and manage Google reviews across various locations from a single dashboard 
  • Respond to all Google reviews with automated responses and response templates, and also use AI-generated review responses when needed 
  • Create custom reporting dashboards to track ratings and reviews across locations 

Simplify Google reviews management with Birdeye now.