How much do you know about the COVID-19 updates from Google & Yelp?

Even though the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic has not hit Australia as hard as it has hit many other parts of the world, the number of cases here are growing daily, and we’re all feeling the impact.

If you own a property management company in Australia, you may be worried about what this means for your online reputation. We thought it would help to share some of the announcements recently made by Yelp and Google concerning reviews and business management.

COVID-19 Updates from Google & Yelp:

Updated Yelp Review Guidelines

Yelp has been proactive about putting together some great programs to help the small business community, and one of the things they’ve done is to implement new standards and guidelines for their reviews. The goal is to protect small, local businesses from reputational harm during these unusual times.

Some examples they gave include:

  • Zero tolerance for any reviews that claim a reviewer contracted the virus from a business or a business’s employees.
  • Zero tolerance for negative reviews and complaints based on business hours.
  • Human content moderators are checking any reviews flagged by the community to check with compliance.

If you’re paying close attention to your property management company’s online reputation, and you notice something in a Yelp review that isn’t fair, make sure you flag it so the correct action is taken by the moderators.

Changes to Google My Business and Google Reviews

Google is taking a bit of a different approach.

Several Google My Business functionalities will take a hit at this time. This means you may have a hard time with the following:

  • Google My Business information edits.
  • Creation, claiming, and verification of brand new listings.
  • New reviews and review responses will be temporarily unavailable at this time.

If you saw Hope’s recent blog on Google My Business fundamentals, you might have been busy updating your information or claiming your Google My Business page. You’ll need to expect some disruptions and delays, shttp://google-my-business-property-managemento be prepared for those.

Why is Google Temporarily Suspending Reviews?

As you know, online reviews matter a lot, not only to your reputation, but also to SEO.

Google knows that local businesses don’t need to suffer any more than they are in this business climate, so they’re putting a hold on any reviews until things get closer to normal.

What This Means for Reputation Management

If your immediate reaction is to pull back and cancel your reputation management service, it’s not a great idea, especially for your long term growth and success.

Keep managing your reputation. You can still get reviews published when you work with Fourandhalf’s reputation management service. The reviews are published to your reputation widget on your website, and Google can still see and use those reviews.

While Google isn’t making new reviews available right now, people can still write and submit reviews of your company. They may be immediately available once things get back to normal, or it may take some time. The uncertainty isn’t fun, but having those reviews at the ready can’t hurt.

Reputation is always important, and your property management company needs a solid reputation plan in place. We are here to help you with this if you have too much on your plate.

We hope that you and your team are safe and well during these difficult times. Have you listened to our podcast episode about managing hits to your cashflow during the pandemic? If not, take a listen.

If you have any questions about these COVID-19 updates on Google and Yelp, or need any help related to your property management marketing, please contact us at Fourandhalf.