Google is Backfilling GMB Reviews After Pausing for the Coronavirus Pandemic

Article by Valeria Nunez Valeria Nunez

Last updated

We reported that Google was temporarily suspending its popular Google My Business search engine feature back on March 25. While the U.S. economy still hasn’t returned to its pre-pandemic glory, business owners and managers will welcome the news that Google has started to post new GMB reviews and backfilling the old reviews that were submitted to them during the down period.

The Resumption Comes Without Announcement

The original announcement that Google was suspending GMB submissions on March 20 read:

“During the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, we are taking steps to protect the health of our team members and reduce the need for people to come into our offices.”

But the fact that they have started processing some of the reviews has come without announcement or any indication as to whether they are posting the reviews in full force. 

How do we know that Google My Business is posting reviews?

While Google has not formally made an announcement, individuals contacting Google have received responses indicating that they are posting reviews for specific industries. One individual posted in an online forum the following:

“Google did confirm that reviews are being backfilled for retail and food globally.” – Friday, May 8

And then:

“Personal Injury, HVAC, and dispensary’s so far today.” – Tuesday, May 12

And there were other observations along this line. 

We have also observed GMB reviews start to populate for several of our clients. 

Do we know how large the GMB Google backlog is?

Because Google hasn’t made a public comment about Google My Business since its initial announcement, we don’t know how many reviews are backlogged or how long it will take their team to be caught up. 

Is there any way to encourage Google to catch up?

In the world of SEO, Google is an immovable object. Unfortunately, Google will resume operations and catch up on the reviews when they deem it appropriate. We can assume that if reviews are starting to post, they’re working on it. 

What can be done in the meantime?

At On The Map Marketing, our SEO team believes that although tragic, the COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique opportunity for businesses looking to stake out a claim to page-one rankings. While you’re waiting for GMB to get back up to speed, there are several things that you can do to enhance your SEO. 

Audit Your Webpages and GMB Profile

You want to hit the ground running, so this is a great time to review your SEO content, site structure, et cetera. 

Create a Post About How Your Company is Handling the Shutdown/Return to Work

Consumers spend money when they feel comfortable and safe. If you are taking measures to ensure the safety of your clients, let them know what it is. 

Consider Expanding Your SEO Campaign

Search Engine Optimization is not an exact science, but as Miami’s premier SEO agency, we know what works and what doesn’t. Right now, with so many companies cutting their marketing budget, there’s room for huge moves. 

Article by Valeria Nunez

I graduated in international business and marketing from Florida international university before starting as a CSM and SEO account manager at On The Map Marketing in 2017. Now I’m the client strategy director, leading a team of eight customer success managers — and have overseen hundreds of successful SEO campaigns for our clients. Outside of marketing, I love playing Tennis, watching sports, traveling, and meeting new people.