Google is addressing a glitch responsible for the disappearance of reviews from Google Business Profiles, with assurances that the reviews are being reinstated. Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, acknowledged the bug on Twitter in response to Mike Blumenthal, who reported the issue a week ago.
Blumenthal’s concern is warranted, as reviews play a crucial role in a restaurant’s success, and their removal can significantly impact revenue. Numerous threads on the Google Business Profile help forums feature business owners who lost a substantial number or all of their reviews.
A common thread among affected business owners is that they lost reviews after implementing Google’s recommended edits to their business profiles. Blumenthal’s investigation revealed that Google was altering the Customer Identification (CID) number when businesses applied suggested edits. The CID is a unique identifier tying all relevant information, including reviews, to a business. Typically, CID changes occur during listing mergers or when Google hard-suspends a listing for guideline violations and later reinstates it.
Customer reviews are linked to a specific CID number, so any change to the CID results in the removal of reviews—a situation that should not occur, especially when following Google’s suggested edits.
A solution is in progress, and it is hoped that rectifying the affected Google Business Profiles involves a straightforward reversion to their original CID numbers. Further updates will be provided if Google shares additional information.