Glitch in Google Reviews for Places

Discrepancy with actual number of reviews

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Hamish McKenzie over at PandoDaily recently noticed an interesting “glitch” regarding how Google lists its reviews of various places in search. For example, when searching for Fior d’Italia Restaurant in San Francisco, Google initially presents 145 reviews. Though, when actually reading said reviews, only 17 are actually present. Here’s a look at the discrepancy:

pando google reviews

pando google reviews

Even if one were to take into account the external reviews listed by TripAdvisor, OpenTable and Citysearch, there are still 34 missing reviews.

I took a look at 7 random businesses, and was unable to duplicate these sort of findings. For example, after a search of Seviche Restaurant in Louisville, Google listed 26 Google reviews, and all were magically accounted for:

pando google reviews

pando google reviews

McKenzie sent an email to Google to ask what the deal was, and this is what the search giant had to say on the matter:

We’re currently experiencing a technical error in which the total number of Google reviews is accurately appearing in the Places listing, but only some of the reviews are appearing on the corresponding Place page. We’re aware of this error affecting a limited number of Google Places listings, and are working to resolve it as quickly as possible.

The glitch seems to exist on a case by case basis, but who knows? Google is embroiled in all sorts of antitrust suits surrounding how it may manipulate search in sometimes favorable ways.

In related news, the aforementioned OpenTable, an online real-time restaurant reservation platform, has just partnered with geolocation service Foursquare.

Glitch in Google Reviews for Places
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  • http://www.ngsmarketing.com Nyagoslav

    I mentioned here that I investigated two possible hypotheses for the cause of the problem, but both of them proved to be untrue. However, it appears to not be random. I believe it might be caused by cluster inter-merging, and additional complication of the problem by the fact that the business data and reviews data are in two different databases.

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