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Google Review: Review Dates Changing

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Greetings and thanks in advance to considering my inquiry.
 
I will start by saying I contacted the Google review staff about 18 months ago because a customer wrote a review that was completely unsubstantiated. At the time, I was able to actually talk to people at Google - and when I sent them a copy of the invoice for the customer in question, they came right back and agreed. "Yes the evidence you sent us is enough for us to determine that the review in question was not true and therefore we will remove it". I was quite happy that they would assist.
 
Problem is, they never did... and after calling them back multiple times, they declined to remove the review even though they held the evidence in their hands and told me they would.
 
So with that said...
 
Today I check out my reviews and find the date for the bogus review has changed. I checked my records and sure enough, the review was made 10-17-2015 but today the date of the review shows as 05-30-2016. My reply to this bogus review was made on 10-19-2015 so I have not "edited" the review in anyway since that time.
 
In the end there is a review (see screenshots) that says it was made 3 months ago (false) and yet my business reply shows as over a year ago.
 
First screenshot was taken in 2015.
 
Second screenshot was taken last week.
google-1.jpggoogle-2.jpg
 
Any insights?
1 Expert replyverified_user

Google Review: Review Dates Changing

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Grant,

 

If a user edits their review I believe it updates the date. That seems to be what is happening here. 

 

Colan Nielsen, Google My Business Top Contributor
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Google Review: Review Dates Changing

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

 

Colan,

 

Thank you for responding.

 

If you read the reviews in both comments you'll find that they are both exactly the same, i.e., no changes were made by the reviewer. Further, there is no entry that exclaims "review updated <on this date>" but rather "review posted on".

 

This of course leads readers to think the review was left this year (rather than last year), and further confuses readers because my reply to the review shows as last year. I'm sure this is not what Google had in mind so based on this...

 

Can you help me determine the proper course of action to resolve this issue? Based on your answer, a reviewer can simply edit their review every year (or sooner) so it appears at the top of the reviews (review's default to latest date entered), forcing business owners to keep addressing a legacy issue over and over again.

 

Please keep in mind the first part of my story... that I spent hours on the phone speaking to Google Rep's - I even emailed them the invoice from this job that proves beyond a doubt that the review was bogus. Google Reps agreed and promised to take down the review, but after weeks of waiting I was told that Google had no record of my previous calls and they now claimed the review did not break their policy. When asked what I was supposed to do now that I knew anyone (including competitors) could post false reviews against my business, I was told to "have more people write reviews to force the bad review down the list".

 

Aside from the fact that business owners should not be motivating reviews (contrary to the principle), I did have some more customers write them.

 

Your response to my inquiry indicates that, as a business owner, there is nothing I can do to protect the integrity of my business if I list with Google. Leaving Google is certainly not an option (for SEO principles), so as a legitimate business I am only left with the resolution you provide.

 

Thank you again for hearing me out and considering my inquiry.