IMPORTANT: Google Disabling All Reviews & Responses Until Further Notice

 

Google & Yelp Disable Reviews

UPDATE: 4/10/2020 – Google has now turned reviews and Q&A back on. Read our latest update for more information. 

UPDATE: 4/8/2020As of today, Google review responding for existing reviews has been turned back on. New Google reviews and new Q&A are still temporarily disabled. We suggest using this time to respond back to any existing reviews your brand may have missed. 

 

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a lot of change digitally as businesses have to adjust quickly to COVID-19 and its impact across the globe. Today it was announced that both Yelp and Google My Business made critical updates to their review and support policies. Here is the impact on Chatmeter and your business. 

Limited Google My Business Functionality During COVID-19

Google My Business announced today, there will be “temporary limitations and delays in support as we prioritize critical services” in response to the Coronavirus situation. 

 

Reviews and Q&A

Google is temporarily disabling new reviews, review replies, and new Q&A for all businesses until further notice. There have been significant numbers of reviews posted for 1-star reviews because business was closed or others complaining that the business was spreading the virus. This is a crisis we are all facing it’s unfair to these businesses and nobody would like to see their reputations tarnished due to this unforeseen issue. In order to protect the reputation of millions of businesses across the country, Google has made the decision to suspend reviews, review responses, and Q&A until further notice. Chatmeter customers can rest assured knowing all their reviews and responses will be stored in Chatmeter until Google restores this function.

 

Business Hours & Listing Information

There are so many changes being made by local businesses at this time that Google is prioritizing business listing edits for all healthcare organizations first. They are also giving priority review to all special hours, temporary closures, business descriptions, and business attributes for all businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

UPDATE: Google is now allowing businesses to mark their locations as “Temporarily Closed”.  Click here to learn more.

 

New Listings

All critical health-related businesses will receive priority manual review for all new listings, claims, and verifications. All other businesses may experience a delay in publishing new listings at this time. 

Read more about the Google My Business response to COVID-19 here. 

 

Yelp’s Updated COVID-19 Review Policy

Yelp’s stance is a little more conservative as they announced a zero-tolerance policy against “any claims in reviews of contracting COVID-19 from a business or its employees, or negative reviews about a business being closed during what would be their regular open hours in normal circumstances”.

Any flagged reviews during this time will be manually reviewed by Yelp staff and if they don’t comply with the guidelines they will be removed. These reviews will not be counted against a business’s star rating. 

Read more about Yelp’s updated review policy here. 

Chatmeter’s Response

Here is how Chatmeter plans to quickly address the changes and additional ways you can continue to address your online reputation and Local SEO through our product. 

  • We plan to add banner notices to all users who log into Chatmeter alerting them that Google reviews and responses have been disabled. 
  • We will be updating the platform to store review responses so that they can be resubmitted once functionality is restored.  Finally, a chance to catch up on all those older reviews that you haven’t had time to get to! Remember, your overall response rate is very important to your rankings.   

Chatmeter is committed to helping our customers manage their local business hours, reputation, and customer communication during this time. We’re speaking with Google daily in order to keep our customers prepared for any new changes. If you’re a Chatmeter customer and have a question regarding the recent changes to Yelp and Google My Business, please reach out to your customer success manager for more information.