Google has recently updated the reviews help document page in its Google Business Support area to say that it now values all business reviews, both good and bad.
While this seems to go against conventional wisdom, there is some logic behind this way of thinking. Any good business should want to please all of its customers, but that isn’t possible. No matter what kind of business you run, some of your customers will be dissatisfied for one reason or another. Naturally, some of these dissatisfied customers will leave negative reviews. These bad reviews may seem like black marks on your reputation, but Google says it’s “more trustworthy” to see the occasional negative review for a good or service online. From Google:
A business receiving almost all positive reviews isn’t unheard of, but in an era where business owners can hire ghostwriters to write fake reviews or delete bad reviews, it can look a little suspect. A business receiving a rare negative review seems a little more believable and legitimate than one with all rave reviews. As long as the bad reviews don’t outnumber the good and they follow Google’s posting guidelines, it might be better for your business to leave all of them up.
This new stance on reviews shouldn’t affect page rankings, but it is possible that Google could flag a business that has all positive reviews and manually audit those reviews. It may not happen anytime soon, but Google’s algorithm changes all the time.