Google Business Reviews – How To Handle Fake Negative Reviews?

Fake unfavorable Google business reviews are killing your Business!

We hear it over and over from companies. Regardless of all the effort companies are doing to build their online reputation, fake unfavorable reviews from spammers and competitors are making it tough for them to onboard new clients and boost sales.

But, what is it that makes fake reviews horrible?

Reviews on Google My Business are public, and whenever someone leaves a fake review about your services or product, anyone can see it and form a wrong opinion about your company! These fake reviews can be tough to spot and can be even harder to remove if you do not know what to do.

However, the good news is that if you’re persistent at identifying the fake unfavorable reviews and can make a satisfactory case for why they are against the Google My Business guidelines, you can get them eliminated by reaching Google on social media platforms or reporting via the forum.

Here are some ideas on how you could identify, respond and get the unfavorable reviews removed to keep a healthy online presence. Let’s get started.

How to identify fake reviews on Google My Business?

I understand how irritating, shocking and damaging can defamatory, fake online reviews be to your bottom line. But, before you begin reporting or responding to the unfavorable reviews, you require to be sure that they are fake!

Here are some basics to help you identify fake unfavorable reviews if they appear on search engines or review websites like Google My Business.

Four ways to inform a review is fake!

Fake reviews lack details –

Bogus reviews often provide highly general or non-specific criticisms instead of focusing on the specifics of the product, service or business!

By specifics I mean- any information about price, specific dates, accurate explanation of the scenario( s), or something else that could personalize the review!

The review is 1-star –

All one-star reviews are not fake, however, if there exist 1-star reviews on your Google My Business listings that do not show a genuine experience and are incredibly unfavorable, they may be from fake reviewers endeavoring to manipulate your product’s or service’s rankings.

A genuine review, although it is unfavorable, will keep a moderate language.

The weird pattern of reviews –

If the customer makes use of a similar language throughout several different reviews have a habit of providing 1-star reviews to one business and 5-star reviews to its immediate competitors, it could be the very first indicator of spam.

Google My Business allows you to click through a reviewer’s profile, where you can investigate these issues.

All reviews published along with an odd timing –

If you find multiple unfavorable reviews posted over a brief period, it is an absolute indication of a fake customer looking to put your services or product in a bad light.

Now that you have understood how to identify the fake reviews, the next action is to get the fake unfavorable reviews eliminated from Google My Business.

How to eliminate fake reviews from Google My Business?

If admiration seems to be going overboard, get the fake reviews reported as quickly as possible! Here’s how to get fake unfavorable reviews removed from your Google My Business page:

Flag the review on Google My Business

Once you’ve found a review and you’re sure that this review, in specific, violates the terms of service of Google My Business, you can take the final action of flagging the review.

To start,

  • Position your cursor on the review that you’d like to report. You will see a flag icon appearing on the top of that review
  • Click the icon, and the violation page will open.
  • Enter your e-mail address there and choose the violation type. As soon as you are done, click submit.

Prepare yourself to explain the case

Okay, so you’ve waited for long now and still have got no response from Google My Business? Time to connect with Google My Business support team on Twitter.

Google My Business Twitter Account

You’ll require the following to get support from Google:

  • Check your records for the customer’s experience with your business.
  • NAP (name, address, phone number) details of your business
  • URL of the review and Google maps link
  • A clear and concise description of why the review needs to be removed
  • Screenshot of the review that supports your claim

Send them a direct message, consisting of the above data and hold up a couple of days to get their response.

Make use of Google online forums or make a phone call and have a live conversation with a Google My Business associate.

However, your task does not have to stop here!

Once you have reported the review, it is time to respond to the fake unfavorable reviews.

Respond to the fake negative reviews on your Google My Business page

People are often more likely to have a look at your response on Google My Business reviews to see if you truly care about your customers. Ensure you act the proper way without letting your feelings overpower you. Develop a professional and well-thought-out response to a fake unfavorable review.

Here’s what Google My Business suggest you do when leaving a response:

Stay nice and avoid getting personal – Never get personal! Always make sure that your response is direct, polite and valuable paying little follow to whether the review is genuine or fake. Doing this would enable you to build trust and restore your reputation with current and future clients.

  • Thank your customers – Thank them for leaving their feedback and for helping you understand where your services or product can do much better.
  • Be truthful about mistakes – It’s great to acknowledge the important things that weren’t right on your part, however, do not hold yourself responsible for things that weren’t your fault.
  • Be a friend, not a sales representative – Inform reviewers that there are several ways by which you could help them out or share something they might not have learned from their very first visit. Try not to be a salesperson who has an integral tie to their deals and absolutely nothing to do with the worries of their customers!
  • Apologize when suitable – It’s a no brainer! Still, Google My Business stress this a lot as people fail to do it! It’s best to say something that shows empathy and compassion.
  • Respond timely – Respond immediately to show that you pay attention to your client’s experience, and you care about them.

Take it easy!

Relax and do not stress! There is very little more you can do at this moment! Simply continue with your efforts to get favorable reviews, respond to unfavorable reviews, and get reviews removed if they are indeed fake.

If your case is sufficiently genuine, the fake reviews will get eliminated from your Google My Business page. If not, keep in mind, unfavorable reviews even though they are false, are not that bad!

According to Reevoo Study, 68 % of people trust a company’s reviews more when they see bad reviews combined with the good ones.

The very same Reevoo study also found that 18 % of people became devoted repeat clients after receiving a brand’s response to their negative feedback.

Hence instead of being worried about the fact that they get eliminated or not, you should keep making your best efforts, stay calm and think about responding to them!