Outsmart Fake Negative Reviews On Google My Business

Fake negative reviews on Google My Business - They are killing our business!

I hear it over and over from businesses. Despite all the hard work businesses are doing to build their online reputation, fake negative reviews from spammers and competitors are making it hard for them to onboard new customers and boost sales.

But, what is it that makes fake reviews terrible?!

The Online Reviews Survey found that negative reviews convinced 94% of consumers surveyed to avoid a particular business.

Reviews on Google My Business are public, and every time someone leaves a fake review about your product or service, anyone can see it and form a wrong opinion about your business! These bogus reviews can be very hard to spot and can be even harder to remove if you don't know what to do.

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

Here are some tips on how you could identify, respond and get the negative reviews removed to maintain a healthy online presence. Let's get started.

How to spot fake reviews on Google My Business?

I understand how irritating, infuriating and damaging can defamatory, fake online reviews be to your bottom line. But, before you start reporting or responding to the negative reviews, you need to be sure that they are fake!

Here are some basic tips to help you spot fake negative reviews if they show up on search engines or review sites like Google My Business.

4 ways to tell a review is fake!

  • Fake reviews lack detail - Bogus reviews often offer highly general or non-specific criticisms rather than focusing on the specifics of the product, service or the business!

    By specifics I mean -- any detail about price, specific dates, precise explanation of the situation(s), or anything else that could personalize the review!

    Fake reviews normally look like this,

    How to deal with a fake negative review

  • The review is 1-star - All one-star reviews are not fake, but if there exist 1-star reviews on your Google My Business listings that do not reflect a genuine experience and are extremely negative, they may be from fake reviewers endeavoring to manipulate your product's or service's ratings.

    A genuine review, even though it is negative, will maintain a moderate language.

  • Strange pattern of reviews - If the reviewer utilizes a similar language across several different reviews, have a habit of giving 1-star reviews to one business and 5-star reviews to its immediate rivals, it could be the first indicator of spam.

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

  • All reviews posted along with a strange timing - If you discover multiple negative reviews posted over a very brief period, it is an absolute indication of a bogus reviewer looking to put your product or service in a bad light.

Now that you have known how to identify the fake reviews, the next step is to get the fake negative reviews removed from Google My Business.

How to remove fake reviews from Google My Business?

If adultation seems to be going overboard, get the fake reviews reported as soon as possible! Here's how to get fake
negative 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 particular, violates the terms of service of Google My Business, you can take the final step of flagging the review.

To begin,

  • Place your cursor on the review that you'd like to report. You will see a flag icon appearing on the top of that review.

    How to deal with a fake negative review

  • Click the icon and the violation page will open up.

  • Enter your email address there and select the violation type. Once you are done, click submit.

Prepare yourself to describe the case

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

Google My Business Twitter Account

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

  • Check your records for the reviewer'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 explanation of why the review should be removed
  • Screenshot of the review that supports your claim

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

You can likewise utilize Google forums or make a phone call and have a live discussion with a Google My Business associate.

But your job does not have to stop here!

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

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

People are often more likely to take a look at your answer on Google My Business reviews to see if you genuinely care about your customers. Ensure you act the right way without letting your emotions overpower you. Formulate a professional and well-thought-out response to a fake negative review.

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

  • Stay nice and abstain from getting personal - Never get personal! Always ensure that your response is direct, courteous and valuable paying little heed to whether the review is real or fake. Doing this would enable you to build trust and restore your reputation with current and future customers.

  • Thank your reviewers - Thank them for leaving their feedback and for helping you know where your product or service can do better.

  • Be honest about mistakes - It's great to acknowledge the things that weren't right on your part, but do not hold yourself liable for things that weren't your fault.

  • Be a friend, not a salesperson - Tell reviewers that there are several ways by which you could help them out or share something they might not have learned from their first visit. Try not to be a salesman who has an integral tie to their deals and nothing to do with the worries of their clients!

  • Apologize when appropriate - 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 compassion and empathy.

  • Respond timely - Respond promptly to show that you pay attention to your customer’s experience, and you genuinely care about them.

    How to respond to fake negative reviews

You can use Statusbrew to manage and reply promptly to thousands of reviews on your Google My Business page. Using Statusbrew, you can involve your teams and could make sure that you do not miss out on even a single review!

It lets you avoid the common mistakes that businesses often commit while managing their reviews! Let's see how:

  • No reminders or snoozes - Without getting reminders, you may take a week or more to reply to the reviews, or you may even miss answering to the critical reviews, and lose the opportunity to win new clients. You can activate the "Snooze" function in Statusbrew to avoid missing out on the reviews that require significant attention!

  • Responding to the replies - How can you be sure that any conversation being sent out through your public channels is accurate and won't put your company in a bad light? Using Statusbrew for Google My Business, you could minimize this risk by providing additional layers and permissions so only trusted employees can send messages.

  • Sharing your Google My Business account password - Sharing passwords with multiple parties exposes your firm to several security threats. Statusbrew lets you onboard your teams, safeguard your brand and efficiently govern your social presence without sharing your passwords and risking your security.

  • Fixing bugs without informing - Show your clients that you are dealing with the issues they have confronted. Fix the bugs and publish on Google My Business what you've changed.

    Honestly, clients read those and update their reviews accordingly.

    Found it interesting? We'd love to have you try Statusbrew for managing your Google My Business account. Just head on to www.statusbrew.com and select the plan of your choice to start a 14-day trial.

Take it easy!

Sit back and do not stress! There is not much more you can do at this point! Just carry on with your efforts to get positive reviews, respond to negative reviews, and get reviews removed if they are indeed fake.

If your case is sufficiently legitimate, the fake reviews will get removed from your Google My Business page. If not, remember, negative reviews even though they are false, are not that bad!

According to Reevoo Study, 68 % of individuals trust a company's reviews more when they see bad reviews blended with the good ones.

The same Reevoo study also found that 18 % of people became loyal repeat customers after receiving a brand's response to their negative feedback.

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

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Ritika Sharma

Ritika is a digital marketing specialist and a writer who works on putting together creative and useful content for Statusbrew. Other than this she's an adventure seeker and a photography enthusiast.