Google My Business appears to have stopped counting anonymous reviews toward a business’s overall rating.
This has been reported by two individuals on Twitter, who noticed that anonymous reviews were disappearing from clients’ Google My Business pages.
@mblumenthal Hi Mike, just noticed anonymous Google reviews no longer seem to count toward overall rating, though still visible when you click through to see all reviews. Any idea when it changed?
— Martin Briggs (@martin_briggs) May 24, 2018
I’m now seeing the anonymous reviews actually removed from GMB as well. Client was at 72, now showing 55 in Knowledge Panel and in actual reviews
— David Haskins (@SkinnySC) May 28, 2018
In the tweet from May 24th it was reported that anonymous reviews stopped counting toward the total rating, but were still visible when a user clicked through to see all reviews.
On May 28th it was reported by another user that Google My Business has stopped displaying anonymous reviews altogether.
I just went through several GMB pages and could also not see any anonymous reviews. Obviously I cannot check every page in existence, so take that for what it’s worth.
This is an interesting move by Google, which now brings it in line with other other local review sites on the web. Yelp and TripAdvisor are two other prominent review sites which also allow only registered users to submit reviews.
In addition, argued that this is a smart move on Google’s part. I have no evidence to back this up, but anecdotally speaking I often noticed that anonymous reviews were the most scathing. That could be because the individual’s real name would not be attached to their comments.
Allowing only registered may result in more honest reviews being submitted, and fewer overly-critical reviews from anonymous users who had a less then perfect experience one time.
From a business perspective it helps to know who is leaving the reviews as well. If a regular customer leaves a bad review one day, this gives the business an opportunity to make things right the next time the customer comes in.