AW-809966512 GTM-P9LS5G6

Friday afternoon (March 20) Google decided to temporarily stop posting new GMB reviews/replies/Q&A during the COVID-19 emergency–a result of reducing their close-quarters office staff and prioritizing health-related businesses and special hours/closures.

GMB Reviews NoticeSo, how might this affect you, a local tow company that places high value on positive tow company reviews even during COVID-19? In times of change like this, it’s important remain calm and take a long look at what is the best path forward.

CURRENT SITUATION

For now Google has removed Q&As from business profiles, though they continue to display existing reviews, replies, review counts, and aggregate review ratings. Many consumers won’t even notice this, as users can post and see new reviews themselves, yet reviews posted on/after March 20 are not visible to the public because the human-review team has been momentarily disbanded and/or redirected. At this time, it is not 100% clear if tow company reviews/replies posted during this COVID-19 emergency status will get posted eventually or not.

REVIEW PROFILE STRATEGY

For a long while, acquiring positive Google reviews has been the tactic we’ve focused on for most of our tow company reviews. So as not to lose the opportunities during this emergency period, we’re redirecting reviews to the website module and to Facebook to maximize the value of each customer interaction. This will round out overall review profiles and will continue to feed Google Search and Google Maps critical keyword phrases that will live on the website well beyond this virus.

LEVEL II & III CLIENTS

Over the weekend we shifted copy and links for all of our Reputable Reviews clients so that everything now points to internal feedback and Facebook.

Reviewability Feedback E-mail

The country has a lot riding on Google allowing healthcare listings and other temporary closings/special hours to be updated and accurate. We wish them godspeed on this huge undertaking.

APRIL 7 UPDATE

Google restored the ability of business owners to respond to reviews, and said

“over the coming weeks, new user reviews, new user photos, new short names, and Q&A will be available. Their availability will gradually expand by country and business category.”

Now when users add a new review a message pops up thanking them for their review stating, “Your contribution may be delayed at this time.”

For this intermediate phase we’re keeping the flow for our Level II & III clients pointing to internal feedback with a shift away from Facebook and toward Google. Once we begin seeing reviews surface for North America towing companies, then we’ll revert back to a Google-forward request system.

APRIL 16 UPDATE

Google stated

“New user reviews…will gradually return by country and business category.”

We’ve seen less than a handful of new towing company reviews and responses come into view and also reviews for some retail and dining establishments. Nothing new is reported on what will happen with reviews submitted while reviews were paused. Google has indicated they saved them, yet they have not described what they’ll do with them or when.

APRIL 30 UPDATE

Google stated they’ll…

“gradually publish delayed user reviews and photos submitted to Google Maps” while reviews were paused.

We’ve noticed other GMB edits are being published faster—a positive sign. Though we’re still not seeing new reviews for the towing industry, reviews for the security alarm industry/home services category have begun to emerge.

Google is not sending new review notifications at the moment. You will need to manually check your listing or use something like our Reputable Reviews service for notification.

MAY 12 UPDATE

New reviews for the towing industry have begun to emerge–along with new reviews for construction companies, law firms, HVAC organizations, and dispensaries.

With customers having more spare time and being more focused on supporting local businesses, we expect high review rates. To capture as many of those on Google as possible, we’ve reverted the flow for our Level II & III clients back to a Google-forward request system.

MAY 14 UPDATE

Delayed user reviews for the towing industry have begun to emerge–with reviews submitted between March 20 and May 12 populating.

Google is not sending review notifications for these delayed reviews. You will need to manually check your listing or use a tool like our Reputable Reviews service to see and reply to these reviews.

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