A quick blog about fake Google Reviews and our recent experience
Written by Phil Bray on 20/02/19
Collecting Google Reviews is important for two reasons (there’s actually a third reason as well, which we’ll get to in a moment). But always make sure you keep an eye out for fake Google reviews too.
- They build a positive first impression on the results page after a brand search (one done for your business)
- It’s though Google uses them as a ranking factor i.e. the better your review profile the more this will positively influence your position in the search results
However, the system isn’t perfect and is open to abuse.
Over the past year, we’ve seen a couple of firms receive fake Google reviews which they’ve had difficulty in removing.
To our horror we received a fake Google review a couple of weeks ago; it was personal to me, factually incorrect (actually what they alleged was impossible for reasons I’m happy to elaborate on if anyone asks) and was the only negative review we’d ever had.
I hated the stain it left on our online reputation.
After leaving a response I flagged the review to Google as inappropriate. But, heard nothing. So, I contacted Google using live chat (not everyone knows this is possible, but you can email, live chat and request a call back). They asked me to send an email explaining why the review should be removed.
I did this after carefully reading their review policy and using it as the basis for my email; highlighting the obvious breaches.
Three days later the review was taken down. I’m grateful to Google for their swift action.
The moral of this tale:
- Managing and protecting your online reputation is crucial don’t take fake Google reviews lying down!
- Make it part of your process to ask clients to submit a Google Review; it’ll create a positive impression and show up a fake review for what it is (this is the third reason I mentioned earlier, building up your positive reviews protects you from the effect of a negative / fake review)
- Respond (diplomatically!) to a fake Google review, explaining that’s what it is and why
- Contact Google through the Business profile (happy to show you how) to explain carefully why the review breaches their policies and should be removed
- Be persistent, flag the review, email Google, jump on live chat and speak to them on the phone. Why should you accept lies which will damage your firm’s reputation?
You can read more about Google Reviews and how to collect them by clicking here.