I was taking the steps of claiming a Google Places business listing for one of my clients. One of the main things we wanted to address was a negative review that was sitting there publicly for the world to see.
As soon as I had the reins of the listing, I went to try and respond to review but it wasn’t letting me. So strange!
So of course, I started doing some online sleuthing to figure out what was going on…
It turns out I wasn’t the only one having problems. This has been a cause for concern for small businesses for years. And it all seems to have gotten a bit messier with Google Places now being upgraded to Google+ Local which is linked to new Google+ Profiles. Phew – that’s enough to leave you feeling totally “google-y” eyed and confused. The Google Product Forum itself admits to Google Places being faulty and that the problems will be rectified in the future. In the meantime, you could try the following to get it to work:
- Are you logged in with the Google account that originally created the listing?
- Is the dashboard showing the account as active?
- Try a different web browser.
- Does the review you’re trying to respond to have text? (You can’t respond to a star rating only review.)
- Assure you’re the most recent owner of your account. Do this by clicking Edit, then don’t change anything, and click Submit. Give it a couple days and then see if you can respond.
- Try making a very minor change to the listing, save it and see if you can now respond to the review.
Are these options not working? Well, sometimes it seems like in order to respond to review you need to have your Places listing linked to a Google + Profile for it to work. I decided not to take that step for my client though, because apparently the process of integrating an existing Google Places profile with a new Google Plus profile is beyond sketchy. Lots of glitches and troubles from what I read online.
If you are able to eventually get the ability to respond to your reviews, here’s a great resource on formulating your responses.
In the meantime, if you’re still locked out of your reviews, unfortunately, my advice is to sit tight and wait it out. With the hope that Google will fix things up soon. They are making steps towards being more accessible and responsive towards users… so fingers crossed!!
Have you had trouble responding to reviews on your Google business page? Did you find a work around? Share your experience to help your fellow small business owners!