New reviews have returned to Google, along with the ability to respond to Google reviews, after being suspended during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Binary Fountain team confirmed that businesses in several industries, including healthcare, can once again display new Google reviews and publish review responses through their Google My Business dashboards.
Google Reviews and Google Q&A stopped publishing on March 20, with review responses coming to a halt shortly after. Existing Google reviews, responses and Q&A were still displayed. New review responses began appearing April 7.
The Binary Fountain team confirmed that new reviews are displaying for most healthcare, apartment, dining and retail listings. Net new reviews and review responses are now live, and it appears that Google Q&A is coming back online. Reviews left during the suspension will start to populate GMB profiles once new reviews are rolled out.
The search engine had suspended the these functionalities to reduce staffers coming into their offices and focus efforts on Google Maps and local search capabilities. Google said at the time it would prioritize reviewing all edits for critical health-related businesses. It is also prioritizing reviewing open and closed states, special hours, temporary closures, business descriptions and business attributes edits for other verified businesses.
Google – among other listing platforms – has changed and added several features in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. These updates to Google My Business and Google Search include:
- Adding a COVID-19 Google Post type that displays on your GMB profile for 14 days.
- Offering a Temporarily Closed option for business listings.
- Displaying attributes at the top of GMB profiles for service availability, such as takeout and delivery.
- Adding coronavirus-related special announcements to rich results on Google Search.
- Displaying new COVID-19 info and virtual care attributes on Google My Business for healthcare providers.
For more on reputation management during the coronavirus health crisis, you can visit our COVID-19 Resources Page and read these articles:
- How to Add a COVID-19 Google Post to Your Google My Business Listing
- How Healthcare Brands Can Prepare for COVID-19 Recovery
- Checklist: COVID-19 Features for Online Healthcare Listings
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