Google Business Reviews are lost after automated suggested changes

Google business profile and business listing reviews are lost and failing again, but this time it appears to be related to automated suggested changes to some business profiles. In short, Google or a user may propose a change to your business listing, and Google may then decide to adopt that proposed change, resulting in a change in your Google business listing’s CID, the identification number that Google uses for your business, changes. With this change, the ratings are lost and gone.

Mike Blumenthal documented the problem in detail on his blog this weekend. He said: “A number of posters on the forum have lost all their ratings after their posts were automatically updated.” This happens when the proposed changes are pushed by Google to the business profile and the business owner does not manually reject the changes in time. Then Google adopts the changes and in some cases Google seems to change the CID of the listings and not migrate the reviews from the old CID to the new one.

Mike pointed out these four threads in the Google Business Profile Help Forums last week. They all faced the same situation, i.e. they lost all their reviews after Google automatically applied suggested changes, resulting in the CID for that business listing changing.

Mike wrote that he “discovered that in each case, Google changed the CID, the identifier Google uses to link all relevant information to a business, including reviews.” Usually the CID only changes when two listings are merged or Google permanently banned a listing for violating policies and then reintroduced it. Changing the CID and losing reviews with a proposed edit update is a new and troubling bug. It could happen to almost anyone for no reason or no apparent reason. But in the infinite wisdom of Google, it could also work as intended.”

Mike explains that you should be prepared for this to happen to your business listing by capturing your CID for your listing. In his post, he explains how it works. For example, my company’s CID is 2946633002421908862. Then make sure you capture your company’s content, all the deal details, and the reviews, if possible. You can keep the reviews you receive copies of in an email folder, as Google often emails you copies of these reviews. Also, make sure you turn on notifications for all your business listings.

If this happens to you, file a complaint with your original and new CID on the forums and ask Google to put things back to their original place. Hopefully Google can and will do that.

Note that this has nothing to do with the reviews that were removed weeks ago.

Here are some of what local SEOs say about it:

What a mess.

forum discussion below Twitter.


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