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Google Reviews – Beware!!

It appears that Google Reviews are being VERY selective in the reviews published in your Search Results feature box – and not in a fair way!

I recently had to pick up my car from a trusted repairer and googled their name to get the phone number – and was appalled by the result provided!
The information presented was correct, but the selected reviews were far from complimentary.

Not only that, but Google Reviews had helpfully highlighted the most  derogatory words.

Jax Tyres Ballarat - Search Results feature box

I’ve been a frequent customer of this particular supplier and know that they go out of their way to be helpful, professional and above all honest – so I had to see why they had such a bad review. Looking closer, I found that all of the review ‘snippets’ were taken from one recent ‘1 star’ review & nothing from 3 other ‘5 star’ reviews that were highly complimentary.

Jax Tyres Ballarat - Actual Reviews

How can this be construed as an honest appraisal of customer satisfaction?
It borders on ‘character assassination’ and if I were the owner I’d be taking steps to ensure that Google honestly portrayed reviews in a balanced fashion without bias.

Of course I immediately followed up with an honest positive review that accurately portrayed my experiences over a number of years & added that to the three existing positives – but will that be enough to produce a balanced result on the front page?

Who knows?

Google answers to no-one – and whilst they do offer a page that allows you to report ‘inappropriate reviews’ – but not how to request a more accurate selection of ‘snippets’. Google’s own description of Review Snippets states:

Review snippets are algorithmically selected quotes from Google users that provide information on the keywords most mentioned by reviewers. You can see the most common words and phrases associated with a business in bold. Under each snippet, you’ll see the number of other users who’ve mentioned those terms in their reviews.

An algorithm that appears to favour the negative does not seem to be fair … And given human nature that complains readily but praises rarely I believe a more appropriate weighting system needs to evolve to avoid small business owners being pilloried by minor numbers of malcontents …

Highlight the positives – we have plenty of negativity already!