Did Small Business
Lose Its Good

Love for small businesses faded during COVID,

but they can rekindle the flame.

We Scored SMB's Online Reputation

... and found that their results are woefully low

We reviewed 58,000 small businesses across America and discovered their reputation scores suffered from lack of reviews, which impacts search, sentiment and so much more.


  • Size and age of the business
  • Number of existing online reviews
  • Date of most recent reviews
  • Star ratings: 0 through 5
  • Negative & positive sentiment

Since September 2019, Thryv scored the online presence of thousands of small businesses around the country. In our review, we looked at vital online characteristics that impact the reputation of businesses.


While current online reviews play the biggest role in determining reputation scores, the recency of the reviews is critical as well. Research shows that consumers do not choose businesses with very few and/or old reviews.


We discovered that small businesses' online reputation, overall, did not perform well (even if customers love them in person!). Plus, throughout COVID-19, small businesses saw a dramatic decrease in scores. See how scores changed over time by industry in our interactive table, below.

1 in 12 SMBs...

... have ZERO online reviews

38 out of 100...

Average reputation score for SMBs

The Smaller the Biz...

... the lower the reputation score

How COVID Impacts Small Business Reputation

In the table below, select from 16 industries to see what percentage their reputation scores faltered or

improved since our baseline date: January 2020. 

Small businesses across most industries received 'failing' grades

All-time average online reputation scores for businesses in these industries were below 60 out of 100 since January.


Public Administration


Waste Management




Real Estate Rental, Leasing


Professional Services


Finance and Insurance


Transportation, Warehousing




Forestry, Fishing & Hunting


Educational Services


Wholesale Trade


Health Care & Assistance


Arts & Entertainment


Other Services


Retail Trade


Accommodation and Food Services


Want to Give Your Reputation a Boost?

No Reviews? No Google My Business? Customers Won't See You. 
Grab your phone and look for a business category near you ... dog groomer? dry cleaner? coffee shop? Hit search on the map. What do you see? You might expect the dry cleaner in the strip mall across the street, but if it doesn't have new, relevant and positive reviews, it won't show up.


Google and other search engines value current activity for your business, particularly up-to-date listings and reviews. They give more active businesses preference over those with a weak online presence.


What's the fallout? 
You lose customers because they can't find you in the first place. Here are a few quick strategies to help you increase and improve your online presence and reviews:

Since more than 90% of consumers look at reveiws before they decide on a company to do business with, it's important to request reviews from current customers ... and continue to request them. 


Having only a few, or worse, very old reviews will turn potential customers off. 


Each time you finish a job, be sure to ask your customer to write a review. You can be selective at first, but turn this request into a habit so you can start building your online reputation.

So you received a review, but it was ... less than flattering? Don't sweat it. Everyone has bad days and even the most discriminating customers know that. 


The key is to post a response as quickly as possible so your current and potential customers know that you care enough to respond. 


Received a positive review? Do the nice thing and pop in a "thank you" to your admirer. Not only will it create good will, but will make you more human, approachable and authentic to potential customers who have their eye on you.

Keeping track of mulitple online listings and reviews can get time-consuming when you've got a business to run. But these two tasks play a huge role in your business's online reputation.


Using business software, such as Thryv's end-to-end client experience platform, can make these tasks automatic. When you update your business hours, for example, Thryv instantly fires the update across more than 60 listings sites, so you show up the same across the Internet.


And with Thryv's marketing automation, you can set it to send a review request every time a customer visits or you complete a job, so your reviews stay up-to-date, too. How easy is that?