As Google’s employees shifted to working from home or and limiting staffing, Google temporarily shut down the publication of several key Google My Business components.
Most notably, Google My Business put a pause on the publication of any new reviews or review replies, while also suspending the posting of new photos and Q&A’s.
GMB Starts To Gradually Return
In the last few days, Google has updated the page detailing the steps it is taking in response to COVID-19 to say:
“Review replies are now available. New user reviews, new user photos, new short names, and Q&A will gradually return by country and business category.”
Along with review replies, it appears Google is quickly taking steps to bring new user reviews back online.
New Reviews Are Coming Back
Several respected figures in the SEO community including Mike Blumenthal and Greg Sterling have reported being able to post visible new reviews for businesses in their area.
Sterling was able to independently verify his review was showing publicly for a restaurant in his area, despite a warning that the review might be delayed.
However, there are still plenty of reports out there of reviews being submitted but not being published, suggesting the process of bringing reviews back is still underway.