Is Google Removing Anonymous Google My Business Reviews?

It has been reported by several sources on Twitter that anonymous reviews no longer contribute to their total rating, or in some cases, anonymous reviews have been disappearing from Google My Business pages completely.

This rumoured change comes after Google announced their crack down on fake reviews and negative reviews from ex-employees, so it is not surprising that anonymous reviews Google cannot identify to be legitimate or tie to a user are now disappearing.

Our team at In Front Digital have been doing some research on this and can confirm that after looking over many business pages from different sectors, anonymous reviews do appear to have been removed. We feel this change has been put into place since the launch of ‘Local Guide’ reviews where Google are encouraging everyday users to contribute reviews for every place they visit or business they work with.

Google aren’t the first to make this change, as authoritative review sites such as Yelp require you to log in or be registered in order to leave a review which increases the authenticity of the review given.

Whilst both positive and negative reviews can help businesses improve their internal processes, negative reviews are often made by overly critical people hiding behind anonymity or even competitors in order to smear their name. From a business perspective, this change may be beneficial for many small to medium businesses as taking away the option for users to leave a review anonymously may decrease the number of overly negative reviews by ‘serial complainers’ they receive because users can’t hide their identity.

For small, local businesses this will also aid them in resolving any issues if they recognise a name of a customer who has left a negative review – they can resolve things in a more personal manner and help create better customer relations.

Overall, we think this change should encourage businesses to gain more legitimate customer reviews as they now count for more than ever before! Read our thoughts on a latest study showing how much of an impact reviews make on small businesses.