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Revealed: The Truth About Review Gating and Google Reviews

We all know how important it is to have positive reviews for our business. They can make or break our reputation, affect our sales, and influence potential customers in their decision-making process. However, what if we could selectively choose which reviews to display on public platforms like Google? This practice is called review gating, and it has been a topic of much debate in the world of online reviews. In this article, we will explore what review gating is, why Google forbids it, and what you can do to maintain your reputation management without resorting to this practice.

Definition of Review Gating

Review gating is the process by which a review program screens a customer’s experience to determine if it was positive or negative. If the experience was positive, the program will prompt the customer to leave a review on public platforms like Google, Yelp, and Angie’s List. If the experience was negative, the program will direct the customer to an internal webpage where grievances can be addressed.

Why Google Forbids Review Gating

Google forbids review gating because it goes against their updated review policies, which state, “Don’t discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from customers.” In other words, businesses should not manipulate reviews by only showing positive ones and hiding negative ones. This practice undermines the authenticity and integrity of reviews and erodes consumer trust.

How Google Penalizes Review Gating

If a business is found to be participating in review gating, Google will shut down those reviews. This means that if a company uses a third-party review program that only allows positive reviews to be posted, Google will not count those reviews. In some cases, Google may even remove all reviews, including those not collected through the third-party tool.

Maintaining Your Reputation Management

While it may be tempting to filter out negative reviews, doing so can hurt your reputation more than it helps. Here’s why:

Authenticity: When a business only displays 5-star reviews, readers become suspicious that the reviews are planted and not authentic customer experiences. No company is perfect all the time, and customers expect to see both positive and negative reviews.

Responsiveness: When a company responds quickly to a negative review and attempts to resolve the complaint professionally, it communicates responsiveness. It shows potential customers that your business cares and wants to make things right when something goes wrong.

Humanity: When readers see that most of the reviews are 5-star, with only a few negative ones, they may think the problem lies with the negative reviewer, not the business. They often consider the reviewer to be confused, a complainer, or have unreasonable expectations. However, if the company owns up to their mistake and takes action, most readers will be forgiving.

At, we understand the importance of online reviews and the impact they can have on your business. That’s why we offer a review management platform that helps businesses collect and manage customer feedback, respond to negative reviews, and improve their online reputation. If you want to stay on top of your reviews and maintain a positive reputation, visit today.


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Rocket Review - Get More Positive Reviews for Your Business Automatically

Rocket Review is a tool that helps businesses increase their online reputation and generate more positive reviews without having to ask for them. With its automated texting and email system, monitoring dashboard, and win-back feature for negative reviews, Rocket Review makes it easy to take control of your business's online presence and increase leads and sales.

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