You may have seen patient reviews suddenly disappear from your practice listing on Google. This is actually not a new issue within Google Places.
Google’s algorithm continuously gets more stringent (and not just for our Members). We at Sesame pride ourselves on keeping you up-to-date on the latest search algorithm trends. This post covers some of the most important strategies for keeping your reviews in great standing in the eyes of the search engines, especially Google.
First, and this is really, really important: Google’s guidelines for reviews have become a lot stricter. Google isn’t making it easy on practices to acquire reviews. For instance, Google will only allow one review per person. And here are some other issues we’ve come to find:
- Reviews that have special characters (“@” and “()”, for example) are sometimes flagged and removed as are reviews made in ALL CAPS.
- Off-topic reviews are often not posted. Reviews only loosely referring to your practice may be removed or not posted in the first place.
- Any colorful or offensive language used in the review tends to lead to quick removal.
- Copy/pasting the same review for multiple locations is also not allowed (Google will delete both instances of that review)
- Putting URLs in reviews for multiple locations will result in the review being flagged as spam
- If Google now finds content on the web that is exactly the same as a Google review, it will be promptly escorted off of your Google reviews list. This is known as duplicate content.
- If a reviewer accidentally misspells a doctor’s name, you guessed it: Google will not post that review
Attracting the right reviews can be a time-consuming process. Here is one unique suggestion from a well-known local search marketer, Mike Blumenthal: “If you are a high volume dentist you may need to simply hand out a piece of paper explaining the review process rather than actively soliciting reviews of 20 clients a day via email.”
More arduous? Maybe. But it is important to simply roll with Google’s punches. Staying creative and flexible is your absolute best bet for attractive reviews of your practice on Google.
Finally, below are a few good sources for more information on missing reviews! We strongly recommend you check out these links for more information on the issues surrounding Google reviews.