Just as there are two sides to a coin, there are pros and cons for almost every aspect of life. Take up the example of anonymous reviews. On one hand, the person writing the review can go under the cloak of anonymity and write a critically honest review, free from the fear of backlash. At the same time, just about anyone can go online and write reviews, even if they haven’t used a particular product or service. Sometimes, competing brands log in and write severe, scathing reviews to put down another brand.
Yelp and TripAdvisor showed the way to do away with anonymous reviews from their business pages. Now Google My Business is following that same course. Previously, it discontinued considering anonymous reviews from business ratings and rankings. In a few more days, it has started deleting anonymous reviews from Google My Business pages. As a result, when you check up GMB pages of a business or brand, you will no longer find anonymous reviews listed.
As I mentioned at the start, there are separate perspectives to this step from Google. It’s true that GMB will not contain only reviews by bona fide users and businesses can actually see who is writing what in which context. It also presents businesses with an opportunity. A regular user can have a bad experience while buying or after buying a product or service. When such a review comes up, businesses can address the problem. You can no longer skirt around the issue, dismissing it as the rant of a disgruntled competitor or ex-employee!
It remains to be seen how businesses make use of this initiative from Google to bring about more accountability among brands by cutting out the excuse of the legitimacy of a user’s identity.
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