Customer reviews are incredibly important – they’re a major factor in the local algorithm, according to the LSRF, but more importantly, they’re a trust signal to humans. If you have more reviews and a better score than your local competitors, it’s likely that you’re going to get more customers.

Think about what you do when you shop on Amazon or check out other businesses. You start by glancing at the reviews as you click the filter or sort button, and then you look at either the best reviews or the worst reviews. That default sort is the kicker though – if you’re looking at a local business and one of those top reviews is a bad one, you’re definitely going to read it.

Sterling Sky has done some awesome research around reviews recently, so we wanted to share some quick tips and a cool tactic with you. First of all, if a review has more text in it, it’s likely to stay in the top reviews in the default order much longer.

The problem here is that good reviews tend to have much less text content. Reviewers typically leave a sentence or two if they’re happy, but write a novel if they’re upset.

Another interesting find is that if a review contains a photo, it will stay in the top reviews in the default order much longer.

And a third tip is that if a review has 2 or more upvotes, it will stay in the top reviews in the default order much longer.

So here’s the really cool thing you can do with all three of these:

If you get a bad review, and it’s “sticking” in that top few reviews in the default order on your Google Business Profile, you can bury that bad review pretty quickly – and pretty easily.

Reach out to a few happy customers who have left you a good review in the past. Ask them to add more text to their review and add a photo or two. Once they’ve done that, have a few of your employees click the thumbs up on the review. Since the review will have more text, an attached photo, and multiple upvotes, it will jump up to the top of the default sort order and stay there for longer, effectively burying the bad review.