Dealing with Fake reviews on Google My Business can be time consuming and these are proving to be an issue with any small businesses. With the current nature of the importance and impact reviews can have, a 1 or 2 star review can be pretty damaging.
One tactic that is used often with Google My Business Reviews, is the person will create a new Google Account, use a fake name, and post one review and that’s it. With each reviewer, you can see how many reviews that have posted, and when you see just one review, for myself, that sets off some warning flags. This is something you will want to include with your Review request with Google My Business Support.
You need to be aware of Google’s Prohibited and Restricted Content regarding reviews. Sometimes the reviewer blatantly breaks the rules and it’s an easy removal. But, most of the time, it takes a bit more work and research on your end. Knowing these guidelines can potentially help with your case.
For about 6+ months, a client had a review that was virtually impossible to have removed from their Google My Business Listing. The person was using a fake name, the client wasn’t able to effectively tell who is was so they could deal with this person in the proper manner. For that particular review, it took multiple contacts with Google My Business Support before it was actually removed. Part of the conversation that I responded back after the last message where they said they would not remove the review
“From your end, I would assume that you would be able to decipher if two Google accounts are connected or not. Somebody creating a Google account with the sole purpose for one negative review and to hide their identity …..”
After my response above regarding that review, they went back, sent it to their specialist team and within a day or so, we received a response in that the review was removed.
Surprisingly, within the day that the review was removed, another negative fake review was posted. Same tactics as before and within a 2 days, that review was removed.
Quotes from Google My Business Support
“Please note that we at Google My Business do not adjudicate between listing owners and Users, as there is no reliable method to discern the truth of an experience.
We advise that you respond to this review as the listing owner. Oftentimes, a business’s response to a negative review speaks louder than the review itself. In doing so, a business has the opportunity to demonstrate their customer service acumen as well as display how the business responds to negative criticism. With a well-worded response, a negative review can be transformed into a positive review.”
Not everyone is going to want to respond to a negative review. One concern is that it could escalate even farther into a worst situation. Granted, when negative feedback is valid, the above response from Google is sound advice. aside from going public with it, and/or responding to that review. Going to Google My Business Support is a Good option.
One simple way is to Flag inappropriate reviews. With this, there’ll be no communication back from them regarding the review. It’s an easy option, but I find going with one of the two support sites below, is much more helpful. It’s good to have record of the conversation and advice that Google provides as well.
Flag inappropriate reviews
Google My Business on Facebook
Google My Business Support on Twitter