Error in Google Business Profiles causing reviews to disappear

There are numerous instances where businesses lose all of the reviews they have earned on their Google business profile listings over the years. The issue appears to be related to Google automatically applying suggested changes from the web to these business profile listings, which in turn can create a new CID for that business listing, and with that the reviews are disconnected from that business listing. The result when you look at the business listing in Google Search or Google Maps, the reviews are gone.

The report. Mike Blumenthal delved further into the issues by documenting numerous instances of business reviews disappearing overnight from their business profiles on Google Maps and Google Search. Mike said Google will change business listing CIDs, the unique identifier for the business listing, when the proposed changes are automatically applied. This change will result in reviews staying with the old CID and not being transferred or moved to the new CID.

ratings disappear. When the new CID is created, Google does not move the reviews to that CID and therefore all reviews appear to disappear from the Business Profile listing. In reality, the reviews are still there, but on the old company profile list, not the new one.

What can you do. You should collect and document your old CID using either Gatherup’s Google Review Link Generator Chrome extension or Pleper’s free Google CID Converter, as Mike said. Take screenshots or store your reviews in some sort of database, some even archive the emails they receive from Google Business Profiles with the reviews.

In this case, you can tell Google that your CID has changed and the reviews have not been migrated. Either Google can reset your old CID, or maybe transfer the ratings – if you’re lucky.

The best thing you can do is keep an eye on the emails you get about proposed changes and decline them if they’re wrong. Most are probably wrong if you maintain a good company profile.

Why we care. Reviews on your local listings can be the lifeblood of your local Google Search and Google Maps business. Many searchers look at reviews before calling the company, many look at reviews before placing an order and before driving to your location, and some even suggest that reviews play a role in local Google search rankings to play. When your reviews disappear, it can be a huge loss for the business.

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About the author

Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz, Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land and member of the SMX events programming team. He owns RustyBrick, a New York-based web consulting firm. He also leads the Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.


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