During the earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of Google’s basic reviews functionality took a backseat to critical GMB listing updates for essential businesses. In addition to focusing Google’s resources on where it mattered most, Google also likely wanted to avoid the spread of misinformation and unwarranted negativity during the onset of COVID-19.
As we reported in our previous blog, Google temporarily stopped publishing new reviews, review replies, and Q&A. Customers were still able to write and view their own reviews, but these reviews were not verified or posted for the general public to see.
We are happy to report that customer reviews are coming back to Google. This is an important development as businesses begin to reopen and consumers start searching for various services online.
On Google’s support page, they specifically stated:
“Review replies are now available. New user reviews, new user photos, new short names, and Q&A will gradually return by country and business category.”
In addition to announcing that reviews are coming back, Google also noted that businesses can add a “COVID-19 update” to their Business Profile. You can learn about how to create a COVID-19 post here. Businesses can upload media and add things such as:
- Hours of operation and temporary closures.
- Changes to how the business operates, such as takeout or delivery only, call for details, or others.
- Updates to how the location is being managed as it relates to safety and hygiene.
- Requests for support.