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We work hard to get good customer reviews. Our customer service and satisfaction are extremely high. We are a 5-Star dealership. But yesterday or last night, my dealership lost hard-earned reviews from Google Places. There is one left and no stars. These were, each and every one of them, legit reviews.
I have a suspect. I consulted my friends Ralph Paglia, Scott Falcone, and Keith Shetterly. Keith asked if I had made any changes to our Google Places page. I didn't make any recent changes to Google Places, BUT... a little less than a week ago, Cobalt decided we needed a Google Places page that pointed to their website. We have two websites and Cobalt, as mandated by GM, is our secondary site. They copied our Google Places page completely and put one up with a link to our secondary site belonging to Cobalt.
At that time, when I looked for our Places page in Google, it was gone from the top of the first page. I finally found it half way down the third page... but it directed people to our Cobalt site instead of our main site. When I tried to edit it as "Business Owner", it said it was not my account.
I logged into our Places account and everything was as it should be. I then called Cobalt and demanded that they rectify the situation. They apparently corrected the situation and the next day we were back where we should be.
Yesterday, all but one of our reviews disappeared and when I search for our company, Google Places is gone again. When I search on maps.google.com and find the page, it is again directed to the Cobalt site.
Hmmm, I've been investigating and most of our direct same-brand competitors have been ripped as well, and coincidentally, they have two sites with Cobalt being their secondary site.... all reviews before a certain date (when Cobalt screwed around) are gone.
A connection? What do you think? I am furious! Can anyone corroborate this with a similar experience?
Written by Tom Gorham
Editor, From The Trenches