Google Maps and Local might be removing anonymous reviews, sometimes shown as reviews by a Googler Users, from the local reviews on local business profiles. They are no longer making up the star ratings in the Google local knowledge panel and now some are saying the reviews are no longer even showing up at all when you click through to read all reviews.
On May 24th, they seemed to disappear or not be counted in terms of the overall review stars:
@mblumenthal Hi Mike, just noticed anonymous Google reviews no longer seem to count toward overall rating, though still visible when you click through to see all reviews. Any idea when it changed?
— Martin Briggs (@martin_briggs) May 24, 2018
Then this weekend, some are saying the reviews are gone completely:
I’m now seeing the anonymous reviews actually removed from GMB as well. Client was at 72, now showing 55 in Knowledge Panel and in actual reviews
— David Haskins (@SkinnySC) May 28, 2018
I am not sure if these are isolated incidents, as I don’t track my local reviews closely but these are from locla SEO experts that are on top of these things.
Did you notice your Google local reviews have changed?
Forum discussion at Twitter.