Google has temporarily shut down local reviews on its sites for businesses, as well as consumers, amidst the coronavirus closings…
Late last week, SEOs began to notice something peculiar with Google’s local reviews. While previous reviews of businesses were intact, there apparently was no way to add, or edit reviews, or replies, for consumers and businesses alike.
The seeming quirk was soon realized to be a deliberate and direct action by the search engine, as the coronavirus spread caused many businesses to alter their operations, temporarily suspend their businesses, or shut down entirely.
Google Temporarily Disables Local Reviews
The sudden suspension of Google local reviews is something that is worrisome for businesses, which rely on positive feedback from customers, in order to inform the public of their quality of products and services.
It also appears to follow a similar move by review site Yelp, which also temporarily disabled reviews for both consumers as well as businesses. That company pledged a generous $25 million in assistance to businesses it serves in the way of waived fees.
Small businesses will be the hardest hit during and after the coronavirus outbreak. While large, national and international brands can withstand weeks of inactivity, small business operators will struggle to remain competitive, or even to remain in business.
— Jason Brown (@keyserholiday) March 20, 2020