Google Announces No New Reviews or Q&A During COVID-19 Emergency
March 20, 2020
On the Google My Business Covid alert page, Google has just stated that: “New reviews, review replies, and new Q&A will be unavailable during this time”.
They have noted that they have taken steps to reduce the number of staffers that come into their offices and as a result are focusing their few remaining staff on Google Maps and Local search information “quality and reliability”.
So existing Google reviews, replies and Q&A are all still displaying, but for the time being no new ones will post.
Google is noting that:
We will prioritize reviewing all edits for critical health-related businesses. At this time, we will also prioritize reviewing open and closed states, special hours, temporary closures, business descriptions, and business attributes edits for other verified businesses.
We will update this post if or as more information becomes available on this.
The approach that Google seems to have implemented is that a user can post and see the review themselves but the review is not visible to the public.
Our api based responses for both reviews and Q&A are received by Google but not showing publicly.
We do not know if Google will show these reviews in the future but given the many other demands on them I wouldn’t count on it. And it is prudent to stop asking for google reviews.
Google has apparently removed visibility of all existing Google Q and A from business profiles. Initially they had just limited the ability to leave new ones and respond. I am awaiting confirmation.
On Friday, Google changed the messaging upon leaving a review and now Google has now indicated that they will in fact attempt to republish reviews and review responses that have been filtered during the Covid crisis. Their aim is to moderate and publish that content as they resume normal operations.