Report: Google Business Profiles bug causing reviews to disappear
There are numerous cases of businesses losing all of their reviews that they have acquired over the years in their Google Business Profile listings. The issue seems to be related to Google automatically applying suggested edits from the web to those business profile listings, which in turn can create a new CID for that business listing, and with that, the reviews get disassociated from that business listing. The result, when you look at the business listing in Google Search or Google Maps, the reviews no longer exist.
The report. Mike Blumenthal covered the issues in greater detail where he documents numerous cases of businesses having their reviews disappear overnight from their business profiles on Google Maps and Google Search. Mike said Google is changing the business listing CIDs, the unique identifier for the business listing, when the suggested edits are automatically applied. That change leads the reviews to stick with the old CID and are not transferred or moved to the new CID.
Reviews disappear. When the new CID is created, Google is not moving the reviews over to that CID, and thus all the reviews appear to disappear from the business profile listing. In reality, the reviews are still there, but on the old business profile listing and not on the new one.
What can you do. You should capture and document your old CID by using either Gatherup's Google Review Link Generator chrome extension or Pleper's free Google CID converter, as Mike said. Take screenshots or store your reviews in some sort of database, some even archive the emails they receive from Google Business Profiles with the reviews.
If this happens to you, you can then tell Google that your CID changed and the reviews were not migrated. Either Google can put back your old CID or maybe transfer the reviews, maybe - if you are lucky.
The best thing to do is to stay on top of the emails you receive about suggested edits and disapprove them if they are incorrect, most are likely incorrect if you maintain a good business profile listing.
Why we care. Reviews on your local listings can be the lifeblood of your local Google Search and Maps business. Many searchers look at the reviews before calling the business, many look at the reviews before placing an order and before driving to your location and some even suggest reviews play a roll in local Google search rankings. If your reviews disappear that can be a huge loss for the business.
Postscript. Google is aware of this issue now and is now working on a fix:
Our apologies here. The team is aware of this bug and has been actively addressing it. Many reviews have been restored, and that work will continue.-- Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) November 15, 2022
Our apologies here. The team is aware of this bug and has been actively addressing it. Many reviews have been restored, and that work will continue.