Today is Monday March 23, 2020 and I would be remiss to start this post without acknowledging that a lot is happening in the world right now. We at Pagecafe remain committed to ensuring our customers maintain an informative web presence and strong SEO during this time of uncertainty.
New Reviews and Review Replies Suspended
With that in mind, we wanted to let you know that Google recently suspended new reviews and replying to reviews. This change is due to Covid-19. Your reviews are still visible and people can leave new reviews, but the new reviews will not be visible for a while.
In a Google post published last week the search engine giant announced that it was temporarily disabling and limiting a number of features in Google My Business.
Health-Related Businesses are the Priority
The focus of the post is to explain that Google is giving priority to health-related businesses for Google My Business (GMB) updates. For example new listings, special hours, temporary closures, etc.
Older Customer Reviews Are Still Visible
The important info for local business owners is revealed in one single sentence at the end of the post where Google states that “new reviews and review replies will be unavailable during this time.”
Older reviews are still visible on your Google GMB listing. And people can still click to leave a new review. But the new review will not be shown on the Google listing until the COVID-driven temporary suspension is over.
You Can Still Ask for a Review and Post Updates
The bottom line to local business owners is that you should still ask your customers for reviews on Google, just be aware that the review will not appear until after the COVID crisis is over.
You can still post updates and events to your Google listing. We have been posting COVID related updates to all our clients GMB pages.
We’ll be sharing more about the impacts of COVID on local business SEO in the coming weeks.
Until then, stay safe!