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Disaster..all ReviewCentre.com data....removed!!!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
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Can anyone else believe that Google have, just like that (clicks fingers) rendered all data from one of the largest reviews sites, http://www.reviewcentre.com/, invalid for use with merchant ratings?

 

It's fair enough to tighten things up moving forward, but to remove all historical data???!!!

 

My company ONLY uses ReviewCentre.com - so our ads have gone from appearing with almost 300 reviews, and lots of nice gold stars, to appearing with precisely none.

 

Have bookings dropped accordingly? Yes they have.

 

And Google don't seem to care about this at all - I was reliably informed that there is a company out there who spends £13m per annum on Google Adwords, and in one fell swoop has lost over 140,000 reviews due to the de-validation of ReviewCentre.com's data.

 

An absolute joke, Google just calmly playing with people's livelihood's, pushing them around its plate like some half-eaten chunks of food.

 

Anyone else affected by this?

2 Expert replyverified_user
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Accepted by Theresa_Zook (Top Contributor Alumni)
September 2015

Re: Disaster..all ReviewCentre.com data....removed!!!

Google Employee
# 2
Google Employee

Hey Santino. Thanks for your post.

 

I have referred this to our support team. They will be in touch to advise on how best to deal with this. 

Re: Disaster..all ReviewCentre.com data....removed!!!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
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Thanks Shanea.

As I said, no problem of the logic of tightening up how Google uses and grabs seller ratings moving forward, but to throw out thousands and thousands of historical reviews just because some companies seek to game the system is appalling.

It completely fails to take into account all those companies who have been using ReviewCentre.com's reviews platform fairly and honestly, who have found the effectiveness of their Google Ads hugely reduced by this decision.

I imagine the Adwords client who spends £13m per year and has - in one fell swoop - lost the clout of 140,000 reviews is probably feeling not best pleased with Google for this decision to jettison ReviewCentre.com's data too!!

Please update me, thanks.

Re: Disaster..all ReviewCentre.com data....removed!!!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
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Hi SantinoCorleone

 

I agreed 100% with everything you have said here.

 

It is disgraceful the way google have dealt with this. You also have to remind yourself that most companies on review centre spend large amounts of money with google adwords. An article I read recently stated that having the star ratings does REDUCE slightly your cost per click. I would suggest that this action by google has probably made them a huge amount of money, as companies will have had to increase their budgets.

 

This has not been handled in a professional manner at all.

 

I would like to know

 

1. How much notice was Review Centre given about the fact that their licence for star ratings was going to be removed?

2. Why did not google make any effort to either contact companies in advance of this removal, to allow them some time to move there review platform to another supplier, if they so wished OR advise Review Centre to do the same?.

3. Did Google give any thought to the effect of this action to legitimate companies using review centre?

 

Maybe Goole has just got too big and feels it can pretty much do what it wants..............

 

I am really NOT happy that all our hard work to get TOP reviews from clients has pretty much been for nothing.

 

The other factor here for new customers is whether they believe existing reviews on review centre now. It seems to me that Googles actions here say that ALL reviews on review centre are lies, which we know is NOT the case.

 

As a FIX for affected companies

 

Google should allow the transfer of reviews from review centre where the client has actually created an account, thus the review will show the clients username.

Any anonymous reviews can be left behind, as these seem to be the ones that google has issues with.

 

Jeff

Re: Disaster..all ReviewCentre.com data....removed!!!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
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I really feel your pain on this one Jeff although, as I said, the company who spends £13m per annum on Google Adwords and has lost the clout of 140,000 reviews is probably feeling even sicker than we are about this sweeping, blanket decision.

My criticism focuses heavily on how it was dealt with:

- no notification from Adwords
- had to find out by checking our own ads
- no "after the event" notification to say "we've implemented these changes, you're likely affected..."
- no offer of compensation (even just Adwords credit would be good) for the impact to the many small businesses out there who have ploughed their efforts into ReviewCentre.com
- no offer of compensation even after dialogue with the Adwords team
- Just a lot of "we're terribly sorry", which with the greatest respect is literally meaningless (nb. although at least some pleasure was generated by the fact that Google's call centre in Ireland are getting incredibly irritated by the sheer volume of irate calls they're receiving on this subject).

Google can spin it whatever way they like, but ultimately the sequence listed above just shows considerable disrespect to all their customers who have been affected.

Jeff - as you say, the fix described would be a good one, although it does require ReviewCentre.com to play ball and allow the transfer of data to one of their competitors. Would they do this? I'm not sure.

My solution would be threefold:

- Reinstate ReviewCentre.com data but only count valid reviews generated by a registered user.
- Increase the threshold from 30 reviews (easily game-able) to 100 reviews (tough to game), for companies to qualify
- Tighten up all future ReviewCentre.com data by insisting on full product ID/purchase codes/PayPal IDs to be entered for any future reviews to qualify.

Time is money as they say, and Google have sure cost me a truckload of time on this one...

Anyone else affected?

Re: Disaster..all ReviewCentre.com data....removed!!!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
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While I understand the trouble and cost this has caused, it does re-iterate the need for a real blended campaign for any sort of marketing, including reviews, when you are relying on outside services.

 

It is likely that at least some review sites will vanish over the next couple of years - the market is probably over saturated - as well as ongoing issues with Google altering which reviews it trusts.  I suspect the industry still needs some development as any site that charges the companies being reviewed is going to be open to accusations of bias.

 

I'd make sure you get reviews from at least 4 or 5 places that are relevant to your location and industry, and base it more on sites that have real user interaction rather than ones that are easier for the companies to use.  Also think about having reviews on your own site, and try to post all of the legitimate ones, positive and negative to increase credibility, so you are not wholly depeandant on an outside site that may vanish, be taken over or change it's policies.

Re: Disaster..all ReviewCentre.com data....removed!!!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
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Fair point Jonathan

I think most companies would agree with you, but it does dilute the amount of reviews on each site as clients tend to only review once.

I think really the main point here is the way google dealt with this situation and the fact they have told other review companies not to touch any reviews from review centre.
Just a real kick in the teeth for all concerned

Thanks
Jeff

Re: Disaster..all ReviewCentre.com data....removed!!!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
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I have to agree here. We have been running our company for a couple of years now and we worked hard to get as many legitimate reviews as possible. We had over 300 reviews and 5 gold stars, something we were very proud of. We are completely unhappy that Google, completely unannounced, removed all of our Reviewcentre reviews and we now show with absolutely nothing.

I hope that something can be done about this. Does anyone else have any suggestions as to what we can do i.e. can we get another review company to transfer all our reviewcentre reviews, so that they can start reappearing? Does it look likely that Google will reverse their decision?

Thanks.

Re: Disaster..all ReviewCentre.com data....removed!!!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
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Hi Ross

I am sure everyone who has posted on this thread feels your pain.

In answer to your questions:

1. You could try accumulating all the ReviewCentre.com data, putting it into a spreadsheet with as much verification data as possible about customers, date of purchase, booking code, PayPal code(?), Transaction IDs etc then talk to some of the other sites. Unlikely, but worth a shot.

2. Looks highly unlikely Google and ReviewCentre.com are going to patch things up unfortunately. The latter's business model is based on ad revenue rather than delivering Google seller ratings so from their end providing their traffic remains what it is, it's not the hammer blow it would be for some of the other reviews sites.

To be honest, all any of us can do now on the back of this knee-jerk decision is to send our customers to various providers and have so many reviews scattered in so many different places that should one of them fall out of bed with Google we're still covered.

For the small business owner though - an absolute nightmare.

Re: Disaster..all ReviewCentre.com data....removed!!!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
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Hi Ross

We moved to reviews.co.uk
We tried to get our reviews moved over but was informed by the company that they have been told by Google NOT to transfer reviews
If they are found to have done so, they would leave themselves open to googles rath.
I assume this means they may have their license removed also

So it looks like just starting again

Reviews.co.uk have a booster option where you supply details of previous customers for up to 6 months and they are asked to place another review.

Re word this request to explain that you need a boost as you have changed companies, or something like that.

All you need is 30 plus reviews to get you stars back
We achieved this by doing this

Also Google seem to be checking more frequently on your ratings so we were back with stars within a week, even although it was only about 35 reviews.

Give that a bash

Cheers
Jeff