You may have noticed some changes in services from Google during lockdown. These changes included no publication of user-generated content on their google my business platform since the end of March. However, it looks as if the temporary cease in service has ended and it’s back to work for Google.
Google, like most other businesses, felt the strain of Coronavirus. In an effort to reduce staff member’s need to go into their offices, and to prioritise urgent work, Google has been forced to run a limited service for its Business Listings. On the 20th March, the search engine announced a big change in their Google Business Functionality. Part of the announcement stated no new reviews, or review replies, would be published until further notice. This move was met with a positive reaction, as hundreds of businesses have been forced to close. By not allowing reviews, it was thought that it would stop any negative reviews being posted while services are limited.
More recently, as the world slowly starts to reopen, Google seems to be doing the same. The company recently announced the Google My Business service would be rolling out again, stating:
Review replies are now available. New user reviews, new user photos, new short names and Q&A will gradually return by country and business category. We’re also gradually publishing delayed user reviews and photos submitted to Google Maps.
Yes. Over the past week we have seen a flurry of google reviews coming through for our clients. The majority were left while the service was suspended, all backdated to the time of writing. For example, the review below was published last week, but the date shows as ‘over a month ago’:
It’s great to see that these valuable reviews aren’t lost and are in the public eye where they belong. Google doesn’t appear to be filtering the reviews at all – reviews ranging from 1* to 5* have all been appearing over the last few weeks. New reviews are also being published again, showing that Google Business Reviews are back up and running as normal.
It’s time for dentists to start focussing on their review building strategy again. It’s important to remember that while it can feel like the world is on pause, there are plenty of patients out there who need dental work. Online reviews, and Google reviews in particular, remain one of the most important aspects of marketing.
It’s very important to check your Google Business Listing for any reviews that may have appeared in the last few weeks. Make sure you are also responding to your reviews, dealing with any negative feedback, and thanking patients for positive comments.
While it can be hard to build reviews while closed, many practices are providing advice for emergencies over the phone or offering video and telephone consultations. Try asking these patients to leave a review and you may be surprised how many do. Afterall you were there to help them during an emergency when very little support is available.
Our review building service, EasyReview, provides an easy and automated way to gain more reviews. The social – distant ready ‘autoreview’ option sends emails to patients you have had an appointment with that day, resulting in an excellent rate of new reviews, with no need for face to face contact.
If you need help with your review building strategy, or have any questions, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.