What is Review Gating and How Does it Affect your Brand
Review Gating is the process of filtering candidates before asking them to leave you a review. The way companies usually do this is by sending their customers an email that first asks if they had a positive or negative experience with their company. If the customer had a positive experience then they are invited to leave a public review on Google. If the customer had a negative review though, they are prompted to send private feedback to the company and never asked to leave a public review.
Many business owners use this feature because they are scared of receiving negative feedback. By review gating, they are still able to address their customers concerns without that negative feedback being available publicly.
What Happens if You’re Caught Review Gating
Companies that are caught review gating can have a majority of their reviews removed from Google and a drop in overall rankings. Ratings going back 2 years have been removed when a company is caught review gating as well which confirms that Google has been against review gating for quite a while. Some companies have had up to 80% of their reviews removed when caught so if you’re thinking about review gating: don’t. It’s not worth the risk to your legitimate reviews or your company image.
What Should Business Owners Do?
If your review soliciting platform does this, you need to turn the gating function off immediately. If you don’t have an option to turn off review gating with your current service then it’s time to look for another service. Google getting much more serious about penalizing companies that review gate and you could be next.
Need Help Managing your Reviews? Hire a Professional SEO Company
A quality SEO company will be well versed in Google My Business and manage your reviews and your site without stepping over the line. Enlisting professional help can also do wonders for your rankings so that you can beat out your competitors in SERPs.
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