Why does just 1 review show up on my Google Business?

and the REST of the question – “…and my page shows 9 reviews?”

Wow, this question from an old friend of mine stirred up the smoldering embers of anger regarding Google. Just thinking about all the decisions that have been made in the past 4 or 5 years by Google. Don’t let anyone kid you or fill you up with anti-Microsoft “protection by obfuscation” rhetoric – Microsoft has NOTHING on Google. Google wasn’t around until the late 90s and I really remember doing a fist pump and thinking “One for the little guy! Finally a company that will make things EQUAL and FAIR!” This was in response to the then current Evil Empire – Microsoft and Bill Gates.

Now, in comparison, Microsoft is warm and cuddly. Google does everything it can to infiltrate every portion of your life.. I can smell a whole new rant, and we’re just going to leave that hostility for another day.

This was my answer to her…

The best I can tell you is “Because it’s Google.” I’m sure they have their own justification of however they do whatever they seem to think constitutes their view of the way the internet should work. Should that information be reliable or even reasonable is another whole story.

My guess is that these reviews may or may NOT be trusted because of course Google reserves the right to make those business-breaking judgment calls – unilaterally. They DID come in (many of them) about 4 weeks ago which does look a little fishy.

The big one is the “4 weeks ago reviews” appearing. So if you for example had very few reviews for 5 years for the business being open and then you got 5 reviews in one week? That looks a little fishy. Is it possible that COULD happen? Sure. You COULD have had a big off-web promotion and encouraged people to review your business at an open house and got that kind of response. Not saying that is what was done, but…

Google also tests IPs. If your reviews came from an IP in the middle of the Pacific or out of the area – even just over the border in VA? GOOGLE reserves the right to DECIDE if the people that review your business are legit – unilaterally. When you’re a local business, you need to be getting local reviews from local IPs. Now if you are reviewing something like a product that you bought off Google that can be used anywhere, then it makes sense to get the reviews from all over.

Then I see two more that just list the reviewer as “A Google User.” To me, that indicates that there was either a question about the veracity of the user – or Google lost the data in the transport through the many system iterations that they have had across the last several years, and you, of course, will pay THIS price unilaterally.

There are also the multiple Google systems that have been in play over the last few years. Ongoing Google decisions have made working with their systems very challenging. Google is NOT stupid by any means. On the contrary, there are VERY good minds at work over there. However, I think they often think they are smarter and better than they really are and don’t take into account the average user that is NOT living inside their main compound. This leads to a lot of very poorly planned, explained, and executed moves on their part.

The point is that Google is always changing what they do, how they do it, why the do it, with little to no explanation or warning… It may be justified or unjustified, but in either case, it can and often does cause a lot of chaos. If you’re trying to figure them out and left scratchin’ your head…. Welcome to my world.

Google needs to eat it’s own dog food

Google needs to be eating it's own dogfoodI really don’t want to bitch, but YES, I do. It seems like everything in life can get stacked up against you some days. Here’s a nice simple task. And this bit of bullsh*t is brought to you by primarily the fine folks at Google. F*cking eggheads. I think this world would be a whole lot easier if they went with the Microsoft “Eat your own dog food” philosophy. I really can’t imagine ANYONE actually using these processes or interfaces day in and day out thinking many of them are really that swift . Can they push through it as a demo? I bet. And they might even be able to do it with a smile. Once. Maybe even twice. But about the time they have to go through this bullsh*t day in and day out? I bet they’d change their processes and UI designs pretty frickin’ quick.

Sort of like letting someone who knows nothing about working on a car design it. You end up with headlights that require disassembling the dashboard to get to a certain bolt, that holds on the engine, that covers up another bolt that holds on a retaining clip to a fan that covers over the access to the headlight.  And that’s exactly what Google’s processes seem like every time I go to use them. Period.

I am going to put one of my clients into Yext to get the proper citations in place for them so they can appear properly in the Google local listings (the little map thing on search pages).

This started at 12:15 pm on Thursday Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Fill out profile on Yext identical to website. Done.
  2. Verify other NAPs match what is on the website – should, but no guarantee.
  3. No, there aren’t many of them but they have the biz name wrong and address street spelled out “Boulevard” What up?
  4. Google has created it’s OWN local page – which does NOT match the address on the website – that is they have spelled EVERYTHING out. And put a period in there. And of course they have the business name wrong – wrong enough to throw the citation building NAP off. All these NAPs need to match for max love
  5. Since we can’t control the existing entry and just change the address – as Google has just created it on it’s own with NO input apparently from us OR our website and there is no “Is this YOUR business?” question on it which might allow an authorized representative to TAKE it over, then we need to create a new page.
  6. Somehow we get sent to a Local Business type interface. WTF? How’s that? I thought Google had gone to straight G+ pages? This is a throwback from a few years ago where G promised “Oh, we’ll migrate all these business pages over very shortly and you’ll be the in the catbird seat.  DON’T create a G+ page – we’ll take care of that.”  That took them 3 years if memory serves me. While all the “johnny come latelys” were whipping up G+ pages and getting indexed with all sorts of great information in THEIR profiles, the people that HAD used the Local Business pages (as Google indicated we were supposed to) were stuck with short crap descriptions and very little flexibility on much of anything.  Yet ANOTHER reason that I find Google so GD irritating – they go off on their own tangents and basically say “F Off. We’re google. We’ll do what we want.”   So… Why are these pages still lingering around? It seems the most RECENT explanation that EXISTS of what this is or how to use it is from 2013. Thank you for that awesome updated support Google. There is additionally a VERY long detailed page about everything. Absolutely everything. Except what I would like to really see – 3 sentences that describe WTF Google is doing with this still out there and why it appeared when I went to create a business account and I haven’t seen this crap in OVER 2 years. But I do today.
  7. Read up on the Google Local Business pages. Still seems like they’re out of favor. But no recent data so just really not sure. Let’s progress using G+ pages.
  8. NOW, create a new G+ account as originally anticipated.
  9. Need an email address – new Gmail? Actually, let’s not confuse things any further, let’s just setup our Google out of the target domain – webmaster@domain? Perfect.
  10. NOW, we need to authorize it. With a phone number.
  11. Whip out BurnerApp. Click buy 15 credits to do some ongoing authorizing.
  12. Can’t connect to server to complete purchase.  Try a few more times. No go.
  13. Reboot phone.
  14. Get 813 area code burner number.
  15. Google indicates that the phone number cannot be USED to verify. Tried voice. No. Same thing. Wasted 4 bucks.
  16. Okay, use Callfire phone number. What’s another buck to find out? Nope that didn’t work. Tried several more numbers.
  17. Broke down and used my OWN personal phone number for verification. Note: Buy cheap “real” burner phones for this going forward. If Google can pin all those accounts down to MY phone, then they can certainly tie them all together. And we KNOW how Google likes to claim that they don’t check all this stuff out, but I guarantee, one of their eggheads one day is going to write a query that will one day tie all of this stuff together and they’ll find a way to penalize because you have some of your sites linked together and you’re trying to “game” them.
  18. Create a non-useful G+ profile? When all I really want out of all of this is to setup a REAL business page with the RIGHT information instead of the *crap* that Google put out? No. Let’s just do a business page.
  19. Discover that no, you can NOT create a business page under any circumstances without creating a personal page – even if 1. You HAVE verified the account that is going to be doing the creating and 2. the personal page will never serve any useful purpose other than to manage the REAL business page.
  20. Create a personal G+ page.
  21. Phone verification AGAIN. Yes, I’ve changed EVERYTHING about msyelf in the last 76 seconds since you LAST sent me a text message to verify this phone number.
  22. FINALLY, BACK to creating a business profile.
  23. Okay, Apparently, there is no option to just create a business page. Often you see, “Create a business page?” or perhaps an “Is this your page? Would you like to claim it?” No. Not here.
  24. Search for “Create G+ business page”
  25. https://plus.google.com/pages/create – thank fricking god.
  26. Google checks to see if there’s one already listed – and sure there is, but it’s incorrect.
  27. Whole new setup.
  28. Now Google has decided (after I’ve filled out the entire profile for the business that was already existing, but of course wholly incomplete and was auto-created by Google itself incorrectly) that this is an existing business. Would you like to use this profile? Well, since the name is wrong, the address is incorrect, not really, but if it would expedite things, sure let’s see if we can tie them together and…
  29. Google: WHOA! This profile has already been claimed by someone. Who claimed it? You under a different profile? Someone you don’t know? Etc. 4 options. HOW IN THE F*CK AM *I* SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHO FILLED OUT AN INCORRECT PROFILE FOR THIS BUSINESS AND CLAIMED IT??? MY REAL EXPECTATION IS THAT IT WAS AUTOGENERATED INCORRECTLY DIRECTLY BY YOU EGGHEADS OVER AT GOOGLE WITH A HALF-TOASTED ALGORITHM PROGRAM AND IT DID IT INCORRECTLY. G*D DAMN.
  30. Go BACK through it and this time tell Google that the crap that it HAD generated and supposedly verified was indeed incorrect – and USE MY SH*T.
  31. Now wait for a PIN code to arrive in the mail. Great. 1-2 weeks.  This part was expected but still after all the frustration of dealing with their half-*ssed methods, it’s just a topper for the whole thing.  A little whipped cream for the big sh*t sundae.

It is now 3:20 pm Thursday. 2 hours and 5 minutes – because Google autocreated a f*cked up address and business name. Is it better for my client in the long run that I create a correct NAP entry on G+? Yes, it is. What might have been even BETTER is that Google DIDN’T create an incorrect entry that has done no good FOR my client and further adds to the amount of static on the internet.

NOW I can go into Yext and add my client.

Is there any f*cking EXCUSE FOR THIS TO BE THAT D*MNED DIFFICULT TO DO? No. NOT IN THE LEAST.