Google has updated its review policies to clarify that reviews left by former employees are considered to be in violation of its guidelines. So far, the guidelines didn’t allow current employees to leave reviews, but apparently updating the terms was necessary. The 411 Locals dedicates this post to these changes.
Reviews from former employees are against Google’s guidelines
The golden rule according to the Google’s guidelines is that all the reviews on your listing should be an “honest representations of the customer experience.” This means that if you make your friends write positive things about your business, you may be punished. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the reviewer has to be a customer but can also be someone who at least has had a customer intent at some point. For example, if a customer gives you a call and you, as a business owner don’t respond, you can receive a review on their bad customer service.
The second most important rule was not to review your own business or employer. What is different now is this applies to both past and current employees. In the policies, it is written that the reviews should be “honest and unbiased.” Come to think of it, no current or past employee can have objective opinion of the business. It doesn’t matter if their intentions are good or bad.
Until now, if you wanted to have a former employee’s review removed from your listing, Google would have refused to do so as it was not against their guidelines. After December 14, 2017, when Google updated their review policies, you can contact Google My Business and ask them to remove reviews from current and past employees.
Google is showing third-party reviews in local results once again
Several years ago, Google got in trouble for incorporating third-party review content without permission. Google then made a promise to offer all websites the option to keep their content out of the vertical search offerings while still having them appear in the general web searches. Google is now directly working with publishers to include their content.
You can see the complete review policies for more detailed information. The 411 Locals team wishes you luck. Stay with us for other updates from Google and the SEO world.