Over the last year (plus) there have been numerous hypotheses shared regarding Google Places and the practice of customers entering reviews while still in the dealership or business. The crux of the discussion was whether or not Google was blocking reviews from a common IP address because of the possibility of gaming the system or as some have suggested, because a customer might feel “pressured” if asked to do this review while still at the business location.
Many opinions and theories have been discussed and argued, many agendas fostered, and many hours wasted on ineffective and expensive processes that did very little for the user experience or to solve the real issue of getting to the root of the rumor, to dispel or confirm it.
We now have a definitive position from Google. The following is a correspondence to Presto Reviews regarding this very important matter:
Nov 10, 2011
I met with the Google Places team today to discuss many of the reoccurring issues you rolled-up in regards to this product over the last several months. Our conversations have been meaningful and I thank you and the team at Presto Reviews for the efforts. Before we recap the takeaways from this meeting, I want to reiterate that dealer business is important to Google and that we are listening to these complaints and committed to finding a better solution.
Pressing Issue (action requested):
Reviews: It is not against Google policy for reviews to be left at a single IP address. Submitting a review at the time of purchase is acceptable. You mentioned that many dealers have received written communication from Google warning them about this practice. I have also heard that dealer’s reviews have disappeared from their Places page as a result of this practice. Neither situation should be occurring.
Action Requested: Please pass along examples (both emails from Google and instances where a dealer has lost reviews) of this issue and I will forward them to our Place team for resolution.