A Great Review Disallowed by Google

When I went to Pubcon last month, I got invited to the first annual US Search Awards, as a guest of SEMpdx advisory board member Anne Kennedy of Beyond Ink.

About 2pm on the day of the awards, I was checking to see what time I had to be there, and I noticed it was “Black Tie Requested”. Uh oh. Anywhere I go at a conference has been pretty informal and a few years ago I quit bringing even a tie and sports jacket, so all I had were cargo shorts and jeans.

I didn’t want to be “that one guy”, so I panicked for a minute… Then I thought about just buying something acceptable, but there really was almost no time after the sessions ended, so I whipped out my phone and I searched for “tuxedo rental”.

The first thing I saw of course was a Google Adwords Ad and a call button, so I clicked it. I got a message telling me to leave a message, so I hung up and called the next one, and a guy answered the phone.

Six hours later I looked like this:

Shari Thurow, Scott Hendison, Anne Kennedy
Shari Thurow, Scott Hendison, and Anne Kennedy

Now I think Al did an amazing job,  by performing an urgent service in the most fantastic way possible,  so like any good customer might do, I left him a quick review at Google, and wished him well, thanking him profusely.

This is a snapshot of my review, that I just happened to notice while dinking around at home on the weekend…

Al Phillips Formalware Review that was disallowed by Google



Wait, what?

What could possibly be the problem here, Google? My review doesn’t adhere to your policies? I’ve read them throughly, and there’s nothing that could possibly be misconstrued.

Anyone working for the local search reviews quality team (does that exist, @davidmihm?) could EASILY look at my profile and see that I’m a real person, clearly not leaving fake reviews, so why would you punish him?

Google has arbitrarily decided to take away not only a possible ranking factor for him but a likely influencer of another customers decision whether to hire him or not.

Does the fact that I’m an internet marketer in my Google+ biography somehow invalidate myy review? And if so, then why not invalidate all of my reviews?

Jeez, it’s not as if I was his page manager or something… Is Google implying that I might be leaving fake reviews for pay? I’m offended!

Small Business Saturday

Today is Small Business Saturday, so I thought I’d show my support by helping Al out, and helping Google out by reposting the review here, and I even used structured data so they can figure it out..

To be clear to any lurking Google spam team members with nothing better to do, he is not a client, and I have no dog in the local tux market in Las Vegas or anywhere else.  I am simply a happy customer that left him a great review, but you’ve chosen to disallow it, so I’ll leave it for you again here.

My review:

Al Phillips FormalwearAl Phillips Formalwear
“Can you guys get me in a tux in three hours?” was my question on the phone, and “where are you staying?” was the answer.


From the time of my phone call to the time he arrived at the door was about 35 minutes, and he measured me and had the tux back to my room about an hour later. Amazing!
Everything fit perfectly, but just in case, he sent an extra pair of pants and an extra jacket. They even threw in two types of tie because I wasn’t quite sure which I wanted when he asked.Great service – HIGHLY recommended!
Date published: 10/23/2013
5 / 5 stars

He Deserves The Review

Local SEO rankings aside, he deserves a link too, one that is *not* nofollowed,  and shouldn’t have to be.   He did not pay me to link to him, or give anything in trade (other than provide great service), Google, so don’t even be thinking about penalizing his organic rankings either with some sort of manual action.

Just like there was nothing illegitimate about my review, there’s nothing illegitimate about the editorial link I’ve placed here either,   and if it happens to help him rank better for “Las Vegas tux rental” because of it, then don’t hold it against him either.  He deserves it.

2 thoughts on “Small Business Saturday – Disallowed Review

  1. Hey Scott,

    Good article revealing the review “ban” by the Google gods. What the heck?!

    Was this resolved at all yet? It really seems insanely STUPID not to allow a very real, and favorable review to be attributed to this business. Yet day after day, I see NEGATIVE reviews still posted and allowed to be shown.

    No offense to Google, but is someone’s head firmly implanted up one’s A**?? 😉

    Hopefully, this gets resolved on behalf of the company. And at the least, you should post your sharp dressed man photos on their Facebook page. Unless Facebook finds the photo “inappropriate” somehow!! 😉

    Happy Holidays,

    Ed Bisquera, Digital Marketing Consultant

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