In May of the year, many small businesses lost several Google reviews. A month later, Search engines provided my colleague Mike Blumenthal a statement that confirmed the particular reviews were not coming back:
We do not allow anonymous testimonials today and we’ ve taken out legacy anonymous reviews.
The reviews removed had been old reviews from anonymous information that didn’ t have a profile attached to all of them . Since they didn’ t possess profiles attached, it would also get you to a blank page when you attempted to click the username, which is not the best user experience.
The number of reviews were removed?
BrightLocal looked at nearly 2 mil Google reviews for over 40, 1000 businesses and found that a few percent (just over 50, 1000 in their sample) were removed due to this.
I wondered if this might be a good opportunity to figure out if the amount of reviews on a listing impacts position. I looked through dozens of good examples comparing the search results before this particular update to what they were after. I needed to find cases where several rank businesses dropped reviews to see what the impact had been.
In my research, I discovered several ranking business listings dropped a good number of reviews. I’ ve taken the most extreme cases below.
Here’ s a display shot of what the search results appeared as if for “ dentist NYC” after i searched using a New York City ZIP program code on May 23. Focus on the company results in positions 5-8.
On Might 25, just two days later, exactly the same businesses had significantly fewer testimonials than two days prior:
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