Knowing how to detect and take out bogus Google reviews is vital for those wishing to create an online presence for their enterprise, such as local businesses, entrepreneurs, or digital marketing professionals.
In this comprehensive guide on “How to Spot (& Remove) Fake Google Reviews”, we will discuss the importance of authentic customer feedback and its impact on your business’s reputation.
We will delve into the various aspects of fake reviews such as spotting them, understanding their negative effects, and the role they play in Local SEO.
Furthermore, you’ll learn about requesting review removals from Google and what happens after submitting a request.
In the end, we’ll go over a step-by-step approach for eliminating these fake Google reviews and some strategies to manage your online reputation effectively.
By mastering how to spot and remove fake Google reviews, you can ensure that your business maintains a strong online presence backed by genuine customer experiences.
What is Fake Google Reviews ?
Fake Google reviews are fraudulent reviews created to manipulate a business’s online reputation. Fake reviews can be used to damage an honest business or boost one that is not performing well. They are often posted by competitors, disgruntled customers, or even hired professionals looking to manipulate search engine rankings and consumer opinion.
How Important are Google Reviews ?
Google reviews are an important factor in establishing a successful online presence for local businesses and understanding the removal process is essential to maintaining positive customer experiences. Understanding how to spot and remove fake Google reviews can help business owners protect their reputation and maximize their potential reach with customers. Positive reviews can help boost a business’s visibility, credibility, and sales. On the other hand, fake Google reviews can devastate a company’s online presence. Businesses should be aware of how to recognize and eliminate bogus Google reviews to safeguard their digital reputation.
The benefits of positive Google reviews are numerous. Verified positive customer ratings can greatly increase your visibility on SERPs when customers search for related keywords or phrases associated with your business. A high number of quality ratings from verified customers will increase the likelihood that you show up higher in SERP rankings when someone searches for related keywords or phrases associated with your business or services.
Additionally, positive customer feedback encourages others who may be considering doing business with you to take the plunge and give it a try – all without having done any additional marketing or advertising efforts.
Fake Google reviews can be just as damaging as no review, if not worse. Fake ratings from unverified sources could lead people astray into believing false information about your product or service, resulting in lost revenue due to a lack of trustworthiness.
Moreover, too many negative comments about your brand can cause significant damage by decreasing its overall rating score – thus making it harder for new potential customers to find you through organic search queries on major search engines like Google or Bing.
Can You Get Google Reviews Removed ?
Understanding the removal process begins with knowing what type of review it is and how it was posted on Google My Business (GMB). If the review was posted directly through GMB then you can submit a request directly through GMB for removal by flagging it as inappropriate content or spammy behavior according to their guidelines. If the review was posted on another platform like Yelp or Facebook, you would need to contact those platforms to have them removed before submitting a request for removal on GMB.
Reasons for needing to take down a Google review can range from containing false info or deceptive claims about the business, breaking any of Google’s policies/rules, or inappropriate language and posting personal data without authorization. The most common reason is that the review contains false information or misleading statements about your business or services. Other reasons include if the reviewer has violated any of Google’s policies or terms of service, such as using inappropriate language or posting personal information without permission.
Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Fake Google Reviews
When it comes to reporting fake Google reviews, the process can be a bit daunting. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make sure your request is handled quickly and efficiently. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to report fake Google reviews:
#1. Consider Responding to the Reviewer First
If you suspect a review may be false or malicious, contacting the reviewer before taking any action is the best practice. You can politely explain why you believe the review is inaccurate and ask them if they want to modify or delete it themselves. This may help avoid further escalation of the situation and prevent any negative press about your business.
#2. Flag the Review To Google On the Desktop:
If responding does not resolve the issue, you should flag the review for removal from Google using their desktop version of Maps/Places/Reviews (not mobile). When reporting, provide detailed information about why you think this review violates Google’s guidelines, including links, screenshots, or other evidence supporting your claim that this is false.
#3. Be Prepared for a Follow-Up
After flagging each review, you must be prepared for follow-up contact from Google regarding your removal requests – they may reach out via email or phone call, depending on their policy, at any given time, so make sure all relevant information, such as business name address phone number, etc. is readily available just in case they need more info from you before making their decision about whether or not they’ll remove them permanently from public view or not!
#4. Get in Touch with Google
If after flagging each review and waiting several days without hearing anything from them, try contacting someone directly at google by visiting support google contact. From here, fill out all required fields, including specific details about why exactly these reviews should be removed (e..g violation of terms & conditions) and any supporting documentation like screenshots, etc., that might help prove your point even further!
#5. Keep Track of Your Removal Request Status
Once everything has been submitted successfully, keep track of its status either through email notifications sent by google when changes occur OR manually checking back periodically until something happens – this way, if nothing does happen within a reasonable amount of time, then at least know where things stand currently so can take other actions accordingly (if needed).
Step 5a: If Applicable, Appeal The Decision
In some cases, after submitting all required information still find yourself unable to get the desired outcome due to various reasons (e..g unclear policies), then appeal the decision made by google using the same link above but selecting “Appeal” instead of “Submit A Request”. Make sure to explain thoroughly why to believe you deserve a different result than originally received while being mindful not too pushy because, ultimately final say rests solely upon them alone, regardless of anyone else’s thoughts!
How Do You Complain About Fake Google Reviews?
To start addressing false reviews on Google, it is best to reach out to the business directly by contacting customer service via email or phone. Contact the business directly to provide evidence that a review was posted fraudulently, such as screenshots or other relevant information. Provide proof when attempting to demonstrate the falseness of a review, such as snapshots or other related data.
You can also check the content of the review against the guidelines for Google reviews to ensure the comments you’ve identified as fake fall into one of the violations. If the business agrees that the review is fraudulent, it may be able to remove it from its page without involving Google.
The next step is to report abuse to Google. To do this, navigate to the specific listing on Google Maps and click “Report a Problem” under “Suggest an Edit” at the bottom of the page. Select “Inappropriate Content” from there and explain why you believe a particular review is fake or fraudulent. Once you submit your complaint, Google will investigate further and decide whether or not they need more information before taking action against a potentially fake review. Another Google review reporting option is the Managing Your Reviews tool.
What If Your Request Is Denied ?
If your request to remove a fake Google review is denied, there are several options you can take. If the decision is not overturned, providing additional evidence or context that may be pertinent to the situation can be beneficial when appealing.
This could include screenshots of conversations with the reviewer or other documentation proving the review is false or malicious. If your appeal is unsuccessful, it’s possible to re-submit your removal request. It is essential to be aware that this should only occur if new data has been included since the first filing, and not as a means of attempting again after an initial refusal.
If other methods of dealing with the fake review have been exhausted, legal action may be necessary against either Google or the person who wrote it. In the event that legal action is deemed necessary, consulting with an attorney beforehand to ensure compliance with local laws and digital marketing practices is recommended.
In any case, where legal action is considered necessary, it’s best practice to consult with an attorney before proceeding to avoid further damage from taking ill-advised steps without proper guidance from someone familiar with local law and digital marketing practices. If your petition to take down a false assessment is declined, you can still take action. With this in mind, let’s look at the conclusion and summary of key points related to managing fake reviews.
FAQs About How to Spot (& Remove) Fake Google Reviews
It’s essential to spot and remove fake Google reviews as soon as possible. Fake reviews can damage businesses, so it is important to stay vigilant when monitoring online reputation. Following this article’s guidance, you can identify and report any deceptive or malevolent material that could damage your business’ trustworthiness online. With OptiLocal’s help, you can rest assured knowing that your digital presence will remain secure from false information and harmful feedback.