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Google has updated their review feature on Google My Business once more. This time, the update now prevents former employees from posting negative reviews about the companies that once employed them. The reason for this change is because of the new guidelines, which sees these kinds of reviews as conflict of interest.
This differs from the previous guidelines that Google had imposed before, which states that the only time that conflict of interest happens is when reviews are left by the company’s current employees. Here is the current review policy left by Google when it comes to conflicts of interest:
“Conflict of interest: Reviews are most valuable when they are honest and unbiased. If you own or work at a place, please don’t review your own business or employer. Don’t offer or accept money, products, or services to write reviews for a business or to write negative reviews about a competitor. If you’re a business owner, don’t set up review stations or kiosks at your place of business just to ask for reviews written at your place of business.”
Meanwhile, the policy on Google Maps also reflected the changes through their updated policies under restricted content:
“Maps user contributed content is most valuable when it is honest and unbiased. The following practices are not allowed:
- Reviewing your own business.
- Posting negative content about a current or former employment experience.
- Posting negative content about a competitor to manipulate their ratings.”
Employers can now request these reviews to be removed as well, which prevents their review scores from getting struck by these kinds of negative and troublesome reviews. The update is made with the intention of making reviews more accurate, as there have been numerous cases of businesses getting attacked by multiple negative reviews, which can definitely break one’s online reputation. This would encourage the more accurate and unbiased reviews that would be featured on Google My Business,
Third Party Reviews
Another change that has been seen on Google My Business is that other than reviews from Google users, the site has also integrated third-party sites like Booking.com, Expedia, and Agoda. This helps users be able to find more customer insight across the internet, which would help influence their decision. For businesses like restaurants and hotels, this comes in as a welcome addition, as these are where the bulk of internet reviews come from.
Company and business reviews are an essential indicator of their quality and reputation, and helps attract more people interested in their products and services. These Google updates ensure that companies will be able to get the most reliable and unbiased reviews from their clientele that paint a more accurate portrait of what they really are.