Google hides consumer reviews without warning
Before putting down a deposit, consumers should check out the Better Business Bureau, Google My Business Reviews and Yelp
I don’t know what made me check my Google Review account in Incognito mode. The only time I usually use this browser window option is if I’m researching a product but don’t want a zillion marketing videos and side-panel advertisements to conveniently appear. But I happened to notice that my review on a specific company’s Google My Business page was nowhere in sight — and mine was the most recent review. I scrolled a few reviews down and noticed another of my reviews was missing from a second company’s Google My Business profile.
As an Elite Yelper with 261 reviews, I leave reviews not only to help other consumers but also so I remember to revisit should I travel to that neighborhood (or state or island) again. Once upon a time, my Google reviews mirrored Yelp — until I deleted a Gmail account and had to start all over again with a new Gmail account. With only 66 reviews from the latter email address, it didn’t take long for me to figure out which ones were still on Yelp but mysteriously hidden on Google.
Google reviewers may not realize this is happening. When you’re logged into Google, you will not notice your review is hidden. Unlike the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Yelp, Google doesn’t send you a warning that your review is hidden, violates a policy or that something must be replaced. Google will allow you to see your review and assume it’s still available to the public — unless you look from a separate account or log out. So while you think you’re warning other consumers, Google will basically allow you to talk to yourself.
For homeowners, condo board members and investors, Google’s tactic of ghosting your review can too often lead you to hire someone and not know exactly what you’re getting into. So why does Google matter so much? In just about every “top 10 search engine” listicle, Google sits firmly in the number one spot. And if you’re not someone who shops around or looks past anything Google doesn’t show you on page one or in that right-hand panel, you’ll never know anything else.
In the case of the reviews that were missing for me, complaints ranged from racial profiling to contractors being cheated out of pay. One review even warned loved ones that a senior living facility lost a patient’s dentures, and a nurse left a family member sitting on the toilet because her shift ended. Now what consumer, homeowner or family member doesn’t want to know that beforehand?