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Dealers have been seeking answers on how to get valid customer reviews to appear on Google+ Local. In the past year, I have made many revisions to the recommended processes dealers should follow to comply with guidelines on popular review websites.
There have been a number of bumps in the road as Google changed from Google Places to their latest review platform on Google+ Local. I created a whitepaper that outlined my latest recommendations for dealers who want to leverage Google+ Local based on conversations with Google.
Dealers who follow my advice have contacted me in recent weeks saying that their reviews, from ACTIVE Google users, are still being filtered. By filtered I mean that they are posted and never show up, or show up for a short period of time and are later removed.
The issue at hand is the definition of a Google "active" user. This definition has yet to be clarified by Google. As far as background goes, keep in mind that Google looks at online reviews as a way to improve the user's search experience. They believe that active Google users are best to post reviews on the Google+ Local network.
Contrary to some published works, Google is not in a rush to pump up their review platform or to increase the activity on Google+. They want high quality reviews from active users of their services. So, a Google account that has just been created, and the only thing they do is to post a review, is not considered relevant to Google.
So, with this background information, dealers are telling me that they are getting customers who claim to be an "active" Google user and post reviews, but they still are not appearing. Is this happening at your dealership? If you are frustrated, I can offer some assistance.
I have the opportunity to collect examples of "active" Google users who have posted reviews on Google+ Local that are not showing up. I will submit them to the Google+ Local product team and see what they have to say about these accounts, and why the reviews are not visible to the public.
If you would like me to submit examples from your dealership, you need to follow these simple steps:
Please submit these files by December 31, 2012. I will compile the lists and send them to Google for them to review. If you plan to participate, send me a heads up email today with the subject "Google Review Challenge," so I can look out for your second email with the attached spreadsheet.
My hope is that I can help dealers and the Google product team get on the same page for utilizing Google+ Local. Will you help me achieve that goal?
If I get no responses, then I will assume that Google's filters are working fine and dealers just have to be patient with the natural process of getting Google active users to post reviews for their dealership.
Brian Pasch, CEO