Google Removes Maps Reviews That Are "Spammy"

Jul 7, 2011 • 8:29 am | comments (15) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Maps

Google Maps LogoOver the past few days I have been seeing an enormous number of complaints in the various forums that the reviews within ones Google Places listing have been removed. Yes, Google Maps reviews have gone missing.

At first, I thought it was a bug, like the dozens of other times we reported these issues.

But this time it has to do with a Google Maps reviews spam update.

Google Maps representative, Vanessa, said in a Google Places Help thread and Google Maps Help thread that the reason for all the reviews going away was because Google pushed out a Maps reviews spam filter. Vanessa explained:

We've noticed a lot of posts in the forum here these past 48 hours about missing reviews on Place pages. Thanks so much for sending in these reports, we're looking into it! Please leave any additional feedback here.

Some things to keep in mind in the mean time:

There are many reasons why a review may not appear on a Place page. We're constantly working to make sure our reviews are legit and high-quality. And so to do this, we have systems in place that may remove individual reviews (ones that we find to be spammy or abusive). Some of you guys may be experiencing these review takedowns. Sometimes our systems may remove legitimate reviews in our effort to cut down on the abuse, but overall we believe these measures are for the good of presenting quality reviews on Google.

Like any spam prevention mechanism, it is not perfect and Google will improve it over time. I have seen reports of reviews coming back into the system since the initial reports of some of the reviews have missing.

Forum discussion at Google Places Help and Google Maps Help.

Update: Joel from Google informed me after careful review it is not a spam filter. He said, "I have confirmed that this isn't a spam issue. It's a problem on our end we're actively working to fix."

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Barry Schwartz

07/07/2011 02:29 pm

Just a heads up.  John from Google Maps commented about this on Google + saying he isn't yet sure if it is spam detection that caused the reviews removals or something else but will update later.


07/07/2011 09:21 pm

In my opinion it is "spam" protection. But Google does not want to talk to the business owners about the what or why behind these missing reviews.  I have seen a couple hundred disappear and never come back.


07/08/2011 01:02 am

Almost half of my legitimate reviews are gone. These are my customer reviews. I do not understand what is "spammy" about them! How can a review be spammy?  We work hard to get these up there, it takes months and years to build them. We need these reviews to survive.


07/08/2011 06:50 pm

That's the problem... You worked at it. Google wants "organic" reviews...??? ... If it doesn't look "natural" they deem it spam. So far I have only seen reviews disappear once. So after you've had your head chopped off then you should be okay to get more. FYI... I believe the official word from Goog is that it's a review malfunction.


07/22/2011 02:33 pm

We worked so hard to collect our reviews.   We went from 165 to 23 in one day.    This isn't fair to the businesses that EARN reviews and maintain a quality reputation.


07/27/2011 10:48 pm

I just posted a comment also, it has not shown up, its only been about 4 hours..will I see it, does it take 24-48 hours??  thanks


09/12/2011 01:41 pm

I cannot even find a button or option to LEAVE a review on Maps anymore.. will this come back too?

Catrina Valentine

02/17/2012 11:16 am

My clients have left me over 44 reviews all  in good faith. It has taken me 5 years to earn these reviews. They have all disappeared, just like that .....puff.... like a cloud of smoke GONE! ALL OF THEM!!!!!!!. The general public know when reviews are 'spammy'. I always look at reviews if i am booking something or require a service of some sort and i always leave it to my judgement to decide if the reviews are true or false. Google should at least give us the benefit of being able to have dialogue with them be it by phone or email. But they offer nothing.  My revenue has been effected by this and i feel very let down by the Google machine that i always held in such high regard. My business is my livelihood and times are bad enough, aren't they! 


02/20/2012 03:36 pm

THis is a pisser, I had 20 legitimate reviews and now I have 16 - I worked VERY hard to get these and all were 5 stars except 1. I hope they fix this ASAP...


02/24/2012 08:35 am

I had 4 positive reviews go missing but they left 1 negative review that was written by a former employee.. How can they do this? I think my account must have been hacked..


03/20/2012 02:31 am

yes, that all sound great.. but im missing reviews at this time... about 13 to be exact... am i going to gain them back? i worked hard to get them and they are very important to my business... very!!!


05/11/2012 02:59 am

maybe this will be an real life indication that you can not have your marketing rely on a media that is controlled by someone else. in real business things like this don't matter. a real marketer knows where he gets his clients, how many clients he gets, etc. stop whining and blaming google for everything. you all are ignorant.


08/03/2012 02:47 am

seem you like you don't understand how important about review and media and internet if i guessing you maybe 80 year old woman .... i the one that on Frank side this is so retarded that they make real review disappear .


08/15/2012 07:11 pm

I am so upset, dissappointed and frustrated. All my customers reviews gone. Only one was left. This is so hurtful to our business!!!. My business depends 100% of our customer reviews...I just can't believe that Google can do this without any kind of notification to the business owners. Thankyou Google for not letting the small local business grow.

Rudy Vasquez

08/11/2013 10:12 pm

dennisse if you need help with aggregating positive reviews in google please contact me through facebook, I have worked with many small and medium businesses in my area.

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