The internet is a double-edged sword for businesses, where positive reviews can skyrocket growth, and negative ones can have detrimental impacts. Even worse are fake reviews. These seemingly innocuous blurbs can undermine a business’s online reputation.
This post will walk you through a practical approach to identifying and dealing with fake Google Business reviews effectively.
Table of Contents
Recognising and Assessing Fake Google Reviews
Accurately identifying fake reviews is the first step in this process. You may come across a negative review from an unrecognised source, which doesn’t provide any substantial feedback. Instead, it might just be a rating without explanation. Such a review might feel like an undeserved jab at your business.
One crucial piece of advice here is: don’t rush to reply. Many businesses immediately respond to such reviews, but this can backfire. When you respond, Google might interpret it as your acknowledgment of the review’s legitimacy, making it harder to remove later.
So, first, take a step back, assess the review, and judge its authenticity before deciding on the next steps.
Flagging Fake Reviews
Once you’ve determined you have a fake review, flag it as inappropriate on Google. While doing so, you’ll need to specify why you believe it’s inappropriate. Here’s where understanding Google’s content policies comes into play.
For example, Google’s policy states that content should reflect a genuine experience and shouldn’t be posted to manipulate a place’s ratings. Familiarizing yourself with these policies can help you accurately report fake content.
Persistence is Key
If your reported fake review hasn’t been removed after about seven days, keep flagging it. Don’t shy away from asking other trusted individuals or businesses to report the same review.
Multiple reports seem to prod the Google algorithm into reassessing the flagged content.
But remember, persistence is not about getting rid of all negative reviews. Genuine one-star reviews can be tough to swallow, but they offer an opportunity for improvement.
It is worth noting that, If you receive a valid negative review, make sure you address the problem and resolve it with the customer as best as you can.
Quality Over Quantity
Lastly, it’s essential to understand that review management is not just about increasing the number of reviews but improving their quality. While a high number of reviews can seem impressive, a higher average rating generates more trust. Therefore, aim for quality and let quantity follow naturally.
The world of online reviews can seem intimidating, but with a careful approach, you can turn this challenge into an opportunity for growth and improvement. Remember, the objective is not to remove every negative review but to ensure that your online reputation is a fair reflection of your business.
If you need help with getting your business found locally get in touch today and see how we can help you utilise your Google business profile to do just that!