Can You Get Rid of Fake Negative Reviews on Google?


March 19, 2018 By

Cheryl Dykstra

Fake reviews are an annoying problem to have.

We work hard to build good, ethical businesses and fake negative reviews can tarnish an otherwise glowing profile. This is extremely upsetting.

In an online world, it’s very easy to create an account to leave a positive or negative review – whether or not you’ve ever worked with the company before.

So how can you stop fake reviews?

Google’s Policies Regarding Fake Reviews

Google has a lot of policies for users that leave reviews. But realistically, they’re not always the best at automatically catching violations of these policies.

The good news is that if you’re diligent at tracking your reviews and you can make a good enough case for why they are against the guidelines, you CAN get the review removed. Simply contact Google on Twitter, Facebook, or report the violation via the forum.

However, it’s not always easy to refute fake reviews, and Google does not always choose to remove them…

The Challenge with Negative Reviews on Google

The hardest reviews to get removed from Google are reviews with only a star rating and no text. These are the hardest to get rid of because Google will normally tell you that they don’t violate the guidelines — since there's no text on them.

Google doesn’t know who your customers are and they don’t just accept you telling them, “this wasn’t a customer” as a reason to remove the review.

Another reason that Google does not remove negative reviews even if you can prove it’s not a customer is because they don’t need to be one in order to leave you a review. In order to leave a review, they just need to have a “customer experience,” which could be anything from trying to call you and getting your voicemail to dropping by your office and just browsing around.

The Solution: How to Respond

Unfortunately, you’re not always going to be able to get fake negative reviews removed from Google.

It’s important to keep a level head when dealing with negative reviews, whether they’re fake or not. Future prospects will see these reviews and responses in the future and no matter what the review says, your response should instill confidence and trust in whoever sees it.

If you know for a fact that these reviews are fake, you might want to play into the game if they can’t be removed. For example, in your response to the review you can offer these “customers” a 100% refund. After all, 100% of zero is still zero. This ensures that future prospects who might stumble across this review will see you’re willing to address people who have negative experiences and make things right.

The Next Steps

Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world when it comes to your online reputation. In fact, studies have shown that 4.2–4.5 is actually the ideal average star rating for purchase probability.

If you don’t have very many reviews though, each negative rating will count for more, so working to build your positive reviews is an excellent way to better your star rating and push down the negative review.

To learn more about the benefit of reviews or to begin working on a review acquisition strategy, call Sales & Marketing Technologies at 407-682-2222.

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